Cost of Christmas trees in Atlanta is soaring due to short supply, inflation

Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 11:13 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Yes, Christmas trees, too, are vulnerable to inflation.

Already, vendors across Atlanta are reporting that customers will notice a higher price-tag for their Christmas tree.

Rob Dillon, who runs Little Trees, a Christmas tree lot in Buckhead, said the average tree will cost 30-40 percent more, compared to a year ago.

Another vendor told Atlanta News First they raised their prices at least $20 to $40 per tree.

This increase is partially due to inflation and the rise in diesel prices along with an increase in the cost of labor to transport Christmas trees to metro Atlanta.

But there’s another issue for some vendors – supply.

A day before Thanksgiving, Dillon said he’s already selling out of his medium-sized trees.

“The most popular tree sizes have been the most difficult to come by,” said Dillon.

“Maybe this is the year to try out a smaller Christmas tree,” Dillon suggested.

Dillon, who has sold Christmas trees in Atlanta for thirty years, said there is a shortage of 8-10 feet tall trees across the southeast.

“Bottom line is people quit putting Christmas trees in the ground,” said Dillon, adding that after the recession in 2008, the Christmas tree industry suffered and growers stopped planting Fraser firs in the mountains of western North Carolina.

“We’re now feeling the dip in production that happens when those trees didn’t get planted,” Dillon said.

A spokesperson for Trees for Tuition, a Christmas tree vendor with three locations in Atlanta, said they have largely avoided the scarcity of medium-sized trees because they have a contract with their grower to provide a fixed number of trees each year.

NorthStar Christmas Trees in southeast Atlanta said it’s still early in the season for them and they have ample supply, though, they have had to increase their tree prices largely due to inflation.

“Way more expensive. We found the tree when we walked in and then I was like, wow, yeah, they’re pricey,” said Anne-Marie Doyle, who bought a medium-sized tree for $250 with her family on Wednesday.

Dillon said he expects the supply of medium-sized trees to level off in the next few years as more trees grow to that prime level.

However, at least for this year, he warned customers that it may smart to buy earlier than usual this holiday season for the best chance to get the size you want.

“I’m seeing a lot of sticker shock. I’m having to pay for stuff 100 percent months ahead of time. Things that have never happened before,” said Dillon.