Christmas trees are set to become next Brexit casualty...so they say!
Our seasonal tradition are threatened to be the latest casualty of the problems the country is facing post-Brexit and the pandemic.
Staff shortages are making it difficult to harvest the millions of trees the country needs while it’s also become trickier to import from aboard to make up for gaps in the UK market.
But the body that represents Christmas tree growers has sought to dampen down the fears, ensuring that there will be more than enough trees to go around.
Trees are the latest in a long line of goods which may be disrupted this festive season with people being urged to buy products early, in case they run out closer to Christmas Day.
Many Christmas tree farms have warned that it is likely to be more of a challenge to get a real tree this year. This may in turn affect the availability of artificial alternatives.
One major problem is that new post-Brexit regulations have made importing trees into the UK more difficult, which has increased demand for UK-grown trees.
According to The British Christmas Tree Growers Association (BCTGA) between 8 and 10 million real Christmas trees are sold in the UK each year, and it is estimated that the UK usually imports between 1 million and 3 million of these from Europe.
Well-documented shortages in the UK labour market are also likely to have a knock on effect – both on the harvesting and transportation of trees.
What’s more, the cost of raw materials has rocketed since last Christmas, with some essential items doubling in price.
The highest increases have come in fertiliser and wood, while transport costs have increased by between 20 and 60%.
Mark Rofe, who owns ChristmasTrees.co.uk, has said: ‘It’s going to be more challenging to get hold of a real Christmas tree this festive season, however if you are able to get one, you can expect to be paying more than you would have in previous years. Wholesale prices have increased between 5% and 10% just this year.
‘With Christmas trees taking an average of 10 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.’
Covid caused problems with supply of trees last year, particularly after a new strain of the virus was identified in the Danish Mink population, impacting all exports from the country where many trees are grown.
But it is not all bad news. As stated by BCTGA, we still have UK grown trees, such as our beautifully nurtured Christmas tree range at Jingltree.
As we hire local workman all year round, local delivery teams and grow our trees right here in the UK, we have not been affected in the way the media are saying. So much so that this year we have NOT increased any of our prices, in fact we are now offering FREE weekend deliveries. Promising to put our customers and environment first every time.