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add Christmas Tree in list of items facing shortage And more prices this year.

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Several factors are driving this trend, Newsday reported, including peak sales during the first Christmas last year during the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain issues this year.

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Experts said tree buyers should expect to pay 10% to 30% more this year for both live trees and artificial trees and also have a smaller selection to choose from.

“Prices have gone up significantly,” John Mohlenhoff, secretary of the Hook and Ladder Company for the Huntington Fire Department, told the newspaper. “We’ve had to compromise with the type of trees we’re getting, the size, everything.”

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Mohlenhoff said the Huntington fire department sold its trees in 48 hours last year, a fundraising sale typically lasting a week. This year the price has been increased by about $5, which is the first time in a decade. The department has paid a higher price to the farm that supplied the trees in Pennsylvania.

Dart’s Christmas Tree Farm in Southold sold off mature trees last year for the first time in 50 years, and also sold many that weren’t yet mature, leaving the farm with fewer large trees this year, owner Ed Dart said.

Several factors are at work. Struggling farmers planted fewer trees for several years after the economic downturn in 2009, and demand has been rising for the past several years, experts told Newsday. It takes eight to 10 years for a tree to mature.

Shipments of artificial trees have been delayed this year due to supply chain issues, including a lack of truck drivers to make deliveries.

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Jami Warner, executive director of the American Christmas Tree Association, which represents Christmas tree retailers, said, “Some major retailers say they have about 43 percent of their inventory right now, when it’s closer to 70 percent this time of year. should be.” , told the newspaper.

Costello’s Ace Hardware, which sells artificial trees in 22 locations on Long Island, has raised prices by up to 25 percent, category manager Andy Pergament told the newspaper. The chain usually has Christmas merchandise set up by the end of October, but there are still some artificial trees waiting to be shipped from China, which are due to arrive next week, he said.

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