BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) – Christmas is quickly approaching and for many families, it is time to pick out the tree. However, inflation is affecting the price.
Babette Cook is originally from the Pacific Northwest and the smell of the tree in her house reminds her of home, and getting a fresh Christmas tree is a tradition.
“I am here looking for a Christmas tree, a fresh Christmas tree,” Cook said surrounded by Fraser firs at A’s Christmas Tree in Baton Rouge.
Just down the road at Louisiana Nursery, Donald McCallister was loading up his seven-foot tree into his truck just in time to get it home before his kids got out of school.
“They can’t wait for the tree to come home so they can decorate it,” McCallister said.
But if you look a little closer at the price tags, you might see an increase compared to previous years. McCallister said his tree is slightly taller than the one he got last year, but the price difference definitely took him by surprise.
“Last year it was 80 something dollars, I just paid like$170 for that one,” said McCallister.
Ken Gilbert works at the Louisiana Nursery. He said that they have been selling trees in Louisiana for 40 years. It’s a joyous time for him to spread a little Christmas cheer to Baton Rouge.
“We will sell between our three locations in the neighborhood of 7,000 to 8,000 trees,” Gilbert shared.
But Gilbert explained that supply and demand issues means they had to increase their prices for the first time in three years.
“It was like a five to 10 percent over last year,” Gilbert said.
The American Christmas Tree Association (ACTA) said the supply demands have been impacted across the country.
“In 2022, we expect to see robust consumer demand for artificial and live Christmas trees,” said Jami Warner, Executive Director of ACTA. “While there may be enough trees for everyone who wants one, the options may be more limited. Our 2022 recommendation to consumers is straightforward: if you want a specific type, style, or size of the tree, artificial or live, find it early.”
Jody Estian helps operate the family-owned A’s Christmas trees. They grow their own which helps them keep the price down, but they aren’t immune to inflation.
“The inflation, the pandemic, it starts with trying to predict what to cut and meet the demand of the people and when the demand is not there then the trees are not useable,” said Estian. “And then you have a Christmas tree shortage which we are all feeling across the board right now.”
For Cook, she doesn’t mind forking over a few extra bucks to support local businesses.
“And I don’t mind supporting, paying extra money to support a family,” Cook said.
But some like McCallister said next year, might go in a different direction.
“Nah I’m going to get me a fake one, I’m going to Amazon,” said McCallister.