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Supply chain issues affect some local Christmas tree lots

Supply chain affects Christmas tree lots
Posted at 9:07 PM, Nov 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-24 22:37:16-05

Supply chain issues are causing not only a shortage of Christmas trees but a delay in their delivery.

Issues with the supply chain are holding some local Christmas tree lots back from looking as merry and bright as they used to.

"It's really fun trying to find the perfect tree," 8-year-old Madison Laborde said.

But for some in Acadiana and across the nation, there will be a delay in finding that perfect tree.

Industry experts say this is because of a labor and supply shortage.

KATC spoke with Peter Mayeaux, owner of All Seasons Nursery with nearly 30 years of horticultural experience.

He tells me these issues have been adding up over time since what he refers to as the "'08 collapse" where growers weren't able to sell their trees — making it impossible to plant more.

"Fast forward 10 years, 2018 is your first Christmas tree shortage, so, and it's gonna be like that probably till around 2023."

Mayeaux told KATC it takes at least 10 or 12 years to grow a nice tree so it's a slow process already, and if you don't have a good relationship with your grower, you're going to be stumped.

As for the cost of trees, he said their increase is marginal at about 10 to 15 percent, but the real issue is the cost of logistics.

"We've seen large increases in freight, and that's probably your biggest contributor," Mayeaux said. "2017, if you go back to that year, you're probably looking at 20 percent higher."

The owner of Foti's Fruit Stand in Breaux Bridge, Floyd Foti, told KATC he's experiencing these delays firsthand.

"The tree business is a real hard business," Foti said. "There's a lot less labor than they used to have, a lot less labor up north, and that's one of the reasons for the trouble — every year it's the same thing, it's a lot of trouble."

However, he mentioned this year was even worse. His shipment of over 100 trees is more than a week late.

"There's less supply than demand right now."

Foti updated KATC after our conversation, noting that his shipment from a Michigan tree farm will be in by Friday morning.

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