Expect to pay more for that perfect Christmas tree

It’s that time of the year when people really begin looking for their perfect Christmas tree. This year they can expect to pay more. And, some experts believe there may be a shortage of trees. However, the owner of Uncle Al’s Christmas Trees says there’s no issue with shortages here.

Uncle Al said there are plenty of trees but that the problem is getting them to Fort Myers. Since shipping is expensive, some of the trees are more expensive as a result.

Al Meuller owns and operates Uncle Al’s Christmas Trees on Cleveland Avenue in Fort Myers and has been doing so for 31 years. He opened his tent on Thanksgiving day and said he has the trees. But it cost him a pretty penny to get them here.

“It was much more difficult to get the trucks lined up,” Meuller said.

So, when looking for a live Christmas tree, be prepared to pay eight to 10% more this year compared to last year.  The cheapest tree at Uncle Al’s costs $35, and the most expensive tree? $450.

Elizabeth Boccaod came to the lot looking for her perfect tree but understands that inflation is an issue now. “The prices are what they are, just like everything that’s going up in society. The prices of meat, milk, and everything, so it’s just something we have to live with,” Boccaod said.

Meuller says he’s worried that live trees will eventually become archaic and cease to exist. “It’s the holidays, you want to spend money and time with your family and on your family, and now the cost of the Christmas tree that everyone celebrates their holiday underneath continues to go up,” he said. “How long is it gonna last? How long is it sustainable? But for us being a business of 31 years, what do you do?”

The best advice Meuller has is that if you do want a live tree, it’s best to shop early. Because, like many other products, supply chain issues could delay future shipments. And, many big box stores ell both live and artificial trees.

Reporter:Michelle Alvarez
Writer:Drew Hill
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