CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Bob Ueckerman comes to Darrell Simpson’s tree lot in Charlotte every year to look for the perfect fir to decorate with his friends and neigbors.
“The tree has about 2000, 2200 lights on it, and I don’t know how many decorations." Ueckerman said. "But they all have to go on.”
Due to a national shortage, Ueckerman may be paying more this year, but he doesn’t mind, he has a tradition to uphold. He says every year, his neighbors all come over and help him decorate.
“This is a one-time deal for me and the community, with family and friends. That’s what it’s about," said Ueckerman.
This year’s shortage takes us all the way back to the recession. Less trees were planted back in 2008, and since a tree grows 8-10 years before it’s ready for sale, we’re feeling it now, a decade later.
“We’ve expected it, honestly, and we’ve been watching things, and that’s what happened," said Darrell Simpson.
Simpson, who owns a tree farm, and a tree lot on Kings, says customers here won’t feel the shortage too terribly. Simpson says his local customers will only see a price hike of about $5 per tree. However, his wholesale customers from other states, are feeling more of a pinch. With higher demand, they’re paying a much higher price, and so are their customers.
“It’s just a little shortage on the size, so we have a lot of other states that are buying out of North Carolina, and that’s throwing a little shortage on us," said Simpson.
According to the National Christmas Tree Association, tree sales should match the last couple of years, customers will just be paying more than the standard average of $75 per tree.