Dec 13, 2019

Tight supply is driving a rise in Christmas tree prices

Photo: Sarah Blake Morgan/AP

Christmas tree supplies are tight across the U.S., fueling a rise in prices, per AP.

Why it matters: The industry is still bouncing back from the Great Recession, and trying to win people back from a shift toward artificial trees.

  • Artificial Christmas trees make up 70% of all trees in U.S. homes.

What's happening: An oversupply of trees about a decade ago caused a domino effect nationwide.

  • Fewer trees were cut down, which meant not as many seedlings were planted to replace them.
  • Hot, dry weather also took its toll, forcing many growers to close.

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Christmas trees are sparse this year

Tommy Speer helps a customer pick out a Christmas tree at Speer Family Farms in Alameda, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Demand for Christmas trees plummeted during the recession 10 years ago, so tree growers scaled back planting. Tree demand bounced back, but supply didn't.

Why it matters: Buyers are paying more for trees due to the shortage. According to the National Christmas Tree Association, the average price of a tree was $36 in 2008. The price spiked to $78 in 2018.

Go deeperArrowDec 18, 2019

Tornado-spawning storms kill 3 people in the South

A severe storm system spawning tornadoes across the Deep South killed at least three people as it damaged homes, downed trees and caused power outages Monday, AP reports.

Go deeperArrowDec 17, 2019

Report: Revision to environmental law could limit climate change review

Unused pipe for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline sits outside Gascoyne, North Dakota in 2014. Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

A new Trump administration proposal aims to weaken the National Environmental Policy Act, which would make infrastructure and fossil fuel projects like the Keystone XL Pipeline easier to accomplish, the New York Times reports.

What's happening: The proposed revision would allow agencies to ignore "cumulative" consequences of major infrastructure projects — which courts have interpreted as weighing a project's impact on climate change.

Go deeperArrowJan 4, 2020