ST. LOUIS – A lot of families are spending the weekend shopping for Christmas trees, but a nationwide shortage and inflation could impact what you end up bringing home this year.
Several St. Louis area businesses selling Christmas trees tell FOX 2 that prices have generally increased due to inflation, not a shortage of trees like recent seasons nationally.
Mary and Charlie Mack brought their five-month-old twins out to Ted Drewes to get their Christmas tree on Saturday.
“We get our tree here every year, but since it’s the first year that we’ve got our two little ones, we wanted to make sure we included them in on the tradition and try to get here early, so it’s a little less crazy with our situation,” said Mary.
When sales started on Black Friday, they didn’t have any issues finding what they wanted.
“We usually come a little later on Sunday, so it was nice to be able to have our pick of the trees, but it went really well,” said Mary.
Selling Christmas trees has been a St. Louis tradition at the family-owned frozen custard shop on Chippewa for decades.
“The Christmas trees started to be sold on our lots back in the 60s, but at the time we didn’t have heat in the building here,” said Travis Dillon, co-owner and son-in-law of Ted Drewes. “Not until about 1985, is when we thought it would be a good idea to start selling custard while we’re selling Christmas trees, so here we are.”
Dillon says they have about 4,500 Christmas Trees to choose from. That’s about 1,000 more than they had last year, but they are feeling the ripple effects of inflation, supply-chain issues and the national shortage. He said they did raise their prices about five-to-ten percent.
“It’s the issue of the suppliers are charging more, so I just can’t hold the price I had last year. I’d love to, but I’ve tried about everything I can,” said Dillon.
People are also shopping for trees at Sullivan Farms, which was established in 1990. They have locations in Florissant, Marlborough, Ballwin, Wentzville and St. Charles. Lot manager Sam Gervich says their loyal customers like to collect their annual mugs.
“We’ve been doing this for about 15 or 16 years, give or take, and we do a different design every year,” said Gervich.
Sullivan Farms offers five different locations and nearly a dozen different types of trees. He expects to have trees in stock until their last day of the season, which is Christmas Eve.
“We’ve been dealing with numerous farmers over the years,” he said. “My father-in-law has been in the business for over 30 years, so he is made a lot of good connections, which has enabled us to keep up with our trees and our stock and availability.”
Although inventory isn’t a problem for them either, their prices have also increased.
“A lot of our trees have gone up anywhere from five-to-seven percent,” Gervich said. “The larger trees have gone up a lot more than that due to shipping charges.”