2020 Christmas Tree Shortage


Off of Highway 70, Mountain Advantage LLC Christmas Trees is lacking a large selection of trees to choose from this year. The price of the tree most fitting to your likings are much higher than other years, just like every other place selling Christmas trees in the country. (Photo Courtesy of Alexis Mast)

When searching for your perfect Christmas tree this year, you may struggle to find the height and price you want on account of the national Christmas tree shortage.

In addition to the less fortunate events happening in 2020, now options are limited at Christmas tree farms. Though this is a national issue due to reasons ranging from COVID-19 to California wildfires, on the east coast the shortage is a product of issues that happened years before 2020.

Besides the obvious California wildfires that significantly cut down the tree supply on the West Coast and the high demand for trees in the season of at-home celebrations during COVID-19, the tree shortage is a long-term issue that’s been building up to the year 2020.

In 2008, there was a recession in which the economy declined and took jobs and supplies away from businesses including tree farm businesses. Twelve years ago when trees were planted during the recession, tree farmers expected a decline in supply for the year of 2020.

In an interview with Marty Peters, who is a part of Mountain Advantage LLC family business that sells trees off Leesville Road, he explained how the entire shortage was predictable and there’s hope for an increase in tree supply in following years. “The oversupply of the real Christmas tree market went to glut,” said Peters.

Chris Mast, a father of a Leesville student wrote via text, “Me and my family usually look for ten foot trees and we usually settle for paying around $160 for it, but this year we paid much more.” Mast’s search for the “perfect tree” lasted many days and resulted in him paying $300 for a nine-foot tree. 

Factors including COVID-19, climate change, the recession twelve years ago, and the overall shift in the Christmas tree market have all influenced one’s shopping experience for a Christmas tree this year.

The demand for a live Christmas tree is the same as any other year, but in the 2020 holiday season, the product is limited due to several reasons that have made shopping for them more expensive and less satisfying.


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