Christmas trees likely to be more expensive, harder to find, officials say

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- It's a holiday staple but according to the American Christmas Tree Association, inflation is only part of the reason your pines and firs will be more expensive and harder to come by this year.

Lumber, trucking and fuel prices are up.

Sid's Christmas Trees Owner, Sidney Boolootian says, "There's nothing I can do. I've got to pass the cost down. I've always been fair. I give a nice tree for a fair price, so I'm not worried about that."

Just seven days from officially opening for the 2021 Christmas season, Sid is putting the finishing touches on the flock house before equipment and trailers roll in.

Come Thursday, Sid's Christmas Trees off Herndon and Villa will be filled.

Boolootian says, "I'm getting calls every day now. They're just chomping at the bit to get out here to get their tree."

This year marks 43 years for Sid's Christmas trees. Though we only see him during the holidays, he says it's a year-round operation.

The trees set to arrive from Oregon were handpicked in April.

Despite a Salem heatwave of 117 degrees in July, Sid was able to reach out to a number of growers to supplement the loss.

"The crop was cut about 40 percent for the whole industry. We have a shortage anyway of trees. You're going to see a lot of lots not have trees or be very limited on what they have," he said.

Supply chain issues mean fewer artificial trees as well.

A 2021 USDA report showed artificial Christmas tree retailers have reported having to raise prices 20-30% this season.

Whether you buy artificial or live, experts urge you to shop early.

If you plan on buying a real Christmas tree, early on, if you want to make sure it lasts throughout the holiday season, make sure to keep it watered. Heat dries out the tree, so you want to make sure to keep your house heated to 72 degrees or below.
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