This Costco Shortage Might Impact Your Holiday Plans

Christmas presents come from Santa's workshop on the North Pole. Everybody knows that. But did you know Christmas trees come from Oregon? Not all of them, really. The Christmas Tree Promotion Board said in a statement that the trees are grown in every state (although we're skeptical about Hawaii), but Oregon does happen to be a hot spot for Christmas tree farms, along with Michigan and North Carolina.

When we say Oregon is a hot spot, we mean that quite literally. News coming out of the Beaver State's Christmas tree farms in July was grim: "Trees were basically cooking" in 116-degree temperatures during a heat wave in the Portland area, one farmer told Reuters. Some Oregon farmers lost 90% of their trees to the heatwave, the American Christmas Tree Association said. The ACTA recommended that people buy their trees early this year to avoid potential shortages closer to the holiday.

A large majority of American households decorate with an artificial tree, which is immune to heat but not to the supply-chain problems created by COVID-19. With America's supply chain attempting to move more products than it has capacity for at this time, the ACTA is predicting a shortage of artificial trees, too — and higher prices on the trees that do make it into stores.

Some Christmas tree experts say plenty of trees will be available

Costco customers will feel the Christmas tree pinch this year, according to a comment the American Christmas Tree Association gave to Fox Business. This was confirmed on Reddit by a Costco employee in the upper Midwest, who had heard from their manager that their particular Costco was getting no live trees this year, instead of the three or four full truckloads that normally start arriving around Thanksgiving. The Costco employee said they could only speak for their particular store. The bad news for Christmas tree lovers may not apply to other warehouses in the U.S. The Redditor's Costco gets its trees from Wisconsin, and another commenter on the post said that state had experienced its worst drought in 30 years this year. Costco hasn't officially given a statement about Christmas tree availability.

If you are planning on getting a Christmas tree this year, you may be relieved to hear the news isn't all bad. Kroger told Eat This, Not That! that the grocery chain expects no Christmas tree shortage at its stores. And a rival to the American Christmas Tree Association, a group called the Christmas Tree Promotion Board, issued a statement saying news of a shortage of real trees is exaggerated. The promotion board also pointed out that the ACTA exists to promote artificial trees that are mostly made overseas — not grown in the USA. "The industry is stronger than any one grower or any one region," the promotion board said. "The industry expects plenty of trees to go around."