Supply chain issues are not only causing a shortage of Christmas trees, but also a delay in their delivery.
Problems with the supply chain prevent some lots of local Christmas trees from looking as happy and shiny as before.
“It’s really fun trying to find the perfect tree,” said 8-year-old Madison Laborde.
But for some in Acadiana and across the country, there will be a delay in finding the perfect tree.
Industry experts say this is due to a shortage of labor and supply.
KATC spoke with Peter Mayeaux, owner of All Seasons Nursery with almost 30 years of horticultural experience.
He tells me that these problems have built up over time since what he calls “the 2008 collapse” where growers were unable to sell their trees making it impossible to plant more. .
“Fast forward 10 years, 2018 is your first shortage of Christmas trees, so, and it will probably be like that until around 2023.”
Mayeaux told KATC that it takes at least 10 or 12 years to grow a beautiful tree, so it’s already a slow process, and if you don’t have a good relationship with your grower, you’re going to be stumped.
As for the cost of trees, he said their increase is marginal at around 10 to 15 percent, but the real problem is the cost of logistics.
“We’ve seen big increases in freight, and it’s probably your biggest contributor,” Mayeaux said. “2017, if you go back to that year, you’re probably looking 20% more.”
The owner of Foti’s Fruit Stand in Breaux Bridge, Floyd Foti, told KATC he is directly experiencing the delays.
“Trading in trees is a really tough business,” said Foti. “There’s a lot less work than before, a lot less work in the north, and that’s one of the reasons for the problems – every year it’s the same, it’s a lot of problems.”
However, he did mention that this year was even worse. His shipment of more than 100 trees is over a week late.
“There is less supply than demand right now.”
Foti informed KATC after our conversation, noting that his shipment from a Michigan forest farm will arrive Friday morning.
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