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Christmas tree shortage stems from Great Recession, expected to impact holiday season

Christmas tree shortage expected to impact holiday season
Posted at 5:00 PM, Nov 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-12 09:25:37-05

AVON, Ohio — Experts are encouraging families to do their holiday shopping early this year, and that includes your Christmas tree.

Farmers and wholesalers are reporting a shortage this year, so it might be tougher to get your hands on a Fraser Fir or Scotch Pine. That was the case for the Avon High School baseball team.

For the first time in ten years, the team won’t be hosting its annual Christmas tree sale fundraiser.

Avon Athletics Boosters said it's because of a Christmas tree shortage.

“This year, we were just told truckload-wise for what they do usually bring in for the sale, there just was not going to be enough for us to host a weekend sale,” said Stephanie Kiesel, president of the Avon Athletic Boosters.

Kiesel said it's a bummer for the community, and the baseball team, which will be missing out on a nice chunk of change.

“They make anywhere between, say $2,500 on a bad year to just over $5,000. So it does really affect the baseball team and their fundraising efforts,” said Kiesel.

So you might be wondering: why is there a tree shortage?

Phil Londrico, founder of Londrico’s Christmas Trees in Valley View, said the problem dates back to over a decade ago.

“The reason? Well when times were tough in ’08 and ’12, ’15, nobody planted. Now you don't have trees,” said Londrico.

Londrico’s family owns Christmas tree farms in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina and sells them on their lot in Valley View and wholesale to nurseries in several states.

He said the combination of not enough trees with rising trucking costs and a labor shortage has made this selling season the shortest he’s ever seen in 50 years.

“Well, what happens is we got to cut all of our customers down just to keep them. They’re not all going to get their orders,” Londrico said.

And with orders cut down, the cost of trees has gone up. Londrico said they’ve increased up to 30% depending on the type of tree.

But despite that, he’s said they’re still selling, and selling fast.

“We'll be out real early, and so will everybody else. So if they don't get in in a hurry, they're not getting a tree,” said Londrico.

As for the Avon Athletics Boosters, supply chain issues have affected many of their other usual fundraising efforts too, like sweatshirt and t-shirt sales. But they’re brainstorming ways to make up for the Christmas tree cash flow.

“They're going to try to sell baseball hats this year and try to just come up with some different options and things to do,” said Kiesel. “Always thinking of new ways to make money for teams. And some teams have really great parents, and they come up with those ideas all on their own.”

If you’re interested in donating to Avon High School’s baseball team or any of their other sports teams, you can find more information here.

Jade Jarvis is a reporter at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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