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Christmas tree shortage causes increase in prices

A shortage in Christmas trees is increasing prices. (WSET)
A shortage in Christmas trees is increasing prices. (WSET)
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STUART, Va. (WSET) -- A shortage in Christmas trees is increasing prices.

David Owen has bought and sold Christmas trees for years in Danville and he says the cost of trees increased this season.

"Our prices from a new dealer that I deal with now, I actually went up 30 percent, so the price of trees has really gone up," said Owen.

In 2008, the average price for a tree was $36, according to the National Christmas Tree Association.

In 2018, the price was $78.

Owen says the Recession in 2008 played a part as well as labor costs.

"I think labor the biggest thing," said Owen. "The big farmers have a lot of labor and the smaller guys can't afford to keep up."

Richard Kreh grows and sells Christmas trees in Stuart.

"The Recession, the sales of Christmas trees went down and the ability to plant, replant costs the farmer money," said Kreh. "So you put those two things together and a lot of them stopped planting."

Kreh says his farm isn't part of the wholesale market, so he hasn't been affected like others.

He also says drought conditions in years past have presented challenges.

"We lose quite a few there because they dry out and die," said Kreh.

Despite the obstacle, business has been booming for both farms.

Kreh says they have more customers than they have trees and Owen says they've had a wonderful turnout.

"We've had a wonderful turnout," said Owen. "Everybody is having a lot of fun and picking their trees out. We've been very blessed."

Owen says the trees are going quick so people need to hurry to get theirs before it's too late.

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