Kingston, Ont. Christmas trees in high demand, shortage continues

Click to play video: 'Kingston, Ont. Christmas trees in high demand, continued shortage'
Kingston, Ont. Christmas trees in high demand, continued shortage
WATCH: Christmas tree sales are facing high demand in the market, but also weather challenges that impact supply during an ongoing shortage – Nov 25, 2022

Christmas tree season in Kingston, Ont., is in full swing heading into the first big weekend of sales — exactly one month until Christmas Day.

“It looks like a great year again, trees are looking very good this year,” says Christmas tree salesperson Tom Teal. “A little bit of rain just now is helping them out with a little bit of watering, that sort of thing. And a little snow last weekend to get people in the spirit.”

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Teal has been selling Christmas trees out of the Canadian Tire lot off Princess Street and Bath Road for years now, and predicts he’ll be sold out as early as two weeks before Christmas.

“We’ll know in a few weeks but sales have been, the last three to four years, earlier than other years,” Teal says. “Used to always be right up to the third or fourth day before Christmas, but now it’s the second week before Christmas that things are usually sold out — so you never know from one year to the next.”

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Those early sellouts have been due, in part, to high demand in the market, but also because of supply shortages and weather challenges.

Click to play video: 'Growers warn Christmas tree shortage expected to last several years'
Growers warn Christmas tree shortage expected to last several years

“A lot of the smaller places are actually shutting down because people are getting older and retiring and their kids don’t want to take it over,” says Riley’s Garden Centre Manager Connor Oke.

“There’s also a really big demand from the states on Canadian trees, so a lot of them are getting shipped down south,” Oke continues. “And then global warming on top of that, so, it gets a lot harder to grow a Christmas tree than what it used to be like 20 years ago.”

While Riley’s Garden Centre has been able to keep up with supply and demand, Oke says inflation is taking its toll.

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“Prices just keep going up, there’s no getting around that,” he says. “Between global warming affecting them growing … and on top of that freight going up — there’s no way the price of Christmas trees is going to go down any time soon.”

This season, shopping sooner rather than later is the recommended way to be sure to find a tree — before they run out.

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