'Buy local' advice amid fears over Christmas tree shortages

You can wander around Marldon Christmas Tree Farm with your family and dog and choose your own tree from tens of thousands

You can wander around Marldon Christmas Tree Farm with your family and dog and choose your own tree from tens of thousands still growing or freshly cut - Credit: Marldon Christmas Tree Farm

Potential problems with importing real Christmas trees could lead to increased demand for locally grown trees.

Customers have been advised of a potential shortage of Christmas trees and higher prices this year in the latest consequence of the labour and supply chain difficulties facing the whole of the UK's economy.

Retailers have said around 30-35 per cent of the real Christmas trees sold in the UK are imported from right across Europe, but post-Brexit regulations and a stretched labour market could result in shortages and higher demand for locally grown trees.

Here, Sadie Lynes of Marldon Christmas Tree Farm - the largest grower of Christmas Trees in the South West - has advice for Torbay Weekly readers:

What do you think - is there a shortage?

“Yes and no, is the answer... as there is a potential that some, sadly, might be disappointed this year.

"Across a multitude of sectors, everyone is facing the same challenges and, therefore, we are seeing an increase in demand for our products, especially from clients who would usually import their trees from Europe and are keen to avoid bureaucracy, extra red tape that would increase costs or cause delays for what is, of course, an extremely seasonal and time-sensitive business.”

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Meanwhile, the price of raw materials including wood for pallets, labour, fertiliser, labels and transport has soared, leading to rising wholesale prices.

Sadie Lynes of Marldon Christmas Tree Farm with Torbay Weekly's Clare Essam

Sadie Lynes of Marldon Christmas Tree Farm with Torbay Weekly's Clare Essam - Credit: Submitted

“With Christmas trees taking an average of ten years to grow, it’s not a case of simply just cutting more trees, especially when you don’t have the labour to harvest them or the haulage to transport them across the country.

"To overcome this potential problem for some of the big retailers, we have been told yesterday that last Tuesday in Denmark, they are already harvesting and pointing trees which is very early.

"If you put that together with our warming climate  it could seriously translate to the tricky problem of needle drop, which is always a major challenge for our industry if you put that together with underfloor and/or central heating!

"You see, Christmas trees are sensitive little fellows when it comes to heat... simply fresh is best and most importantly, read the care instruction is the way to go.”

Is it going to be more challenging to get hold of a real and fresh Christmas tree this festive season?

“No, not if you live near a Christmas tree farm such as Marldon, where you can wander with your family and dog and choose your own from tens of thousands still growing or freshly cut Christmas trees.

"Remember, fresh is best with a guarantee up to Christmas Eve from Marldon Christmas Tree Farm.”