The coronavirus pandemic has made Christmas tree hunting a bit different this year, but that hasn't stopped families from making sure to get their trees in time for the holiday season.
Some Christmas tree farms in Illinois are requiring reservations, due to the pandemic, and as of Friday afternoon, many times were already sold out for the weekend.
Although Ivy’s Christmas Trees in Lake View doesn’t require customers to make a reservation, owner Ivy Speck says they could run out of trees this weekend.
“We’re seeing a lot more, almost double than we saw last year and the year before,” said Speck.
She doesn’t believe she’ll have enough trees to last until Christmas Eve.
The early and high demand for trees comes during an ongoing Christmas tree shortage across the country. According to experts, this shortage has its roots (pun intended) in the 2008 global recession, which led to a slowdown in planting seedlings.
It can take a tree 7 to 20 years to reach the desired height, so business owners can’t flood the market overnight, no matter how high the demand is.
Farmers are now raising their prices on Christmas trees, which could be passed down to the consumer.
Several tree shoppers told NBC 5 they noticed trees $20 to $35 higher than expected.
Ivy’s Christmas Tree’s didn’t raise its prices this year, but Chris Hohenstein’s City Tree Delivery service says he had to by a few dollars in 2020. He says it’s worth it given the premium service his business offers to customers.
“We took orders as early as October, which is something I usually don’t like doing,” said Hohenstein.
For 11 years, City Tree Delivery has been delivering trees from Michigan and Wisconsin to Chicagoland residents, and this could be one of the better years for Hohenstein’s business as customers choose contact-free options during the pandemic.
Orders are still being taken but Hohenstein is also concerned of the limited supply.
He suggests ordering as soon as possible.
Some Christmas tree farms and lots are offering online ordering and contact-free curbside pickup.
Ivy’s Christmas Tree’s offers free masks and hand sanitizer.
If you’re looking for more information about City Tree Delivery services, click here.