Real or artificial: Christmas Tree prices will go up this year

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Get ready to spend more for Christmas trees and decorations in the upcoming holiday season. Shipping prices and delays, plus inventory shortages, mean prices will be higher.

The vast majority of the country’s fresh Christmas trees come from the Pacific Northwest, and many were impacted by summer drought and wildfires.

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Thankfully, Paula Tajiri’s trees in Washington weren’t impacted. She said she’ll be cutting her first tree next week, and it will be on its way to Hawaii on Nov. 7.

“Unfortunately, everything went up this year,” she said. “The true cost of shipping, tracking charge, the price is a little bit higher than last year.”

She said last year a six-foot tree cost $129, and this year it will cost $142, about 10% more. People who want to buy an artificial tree will spend approximately 20% more.

According to the U.S. Commerce Department, 80% of artificial trees are manufactured in China, and shipping delays from there are long.

“We have seen shipping prices gone up tremendously,” explained Retail Merchants of Hawaii President Tina Yamaki. “We’re seeing even the products themselves have gone up just because of the manufacturing. So, I think this year’s Christmas is going to be a little bit more expensive.”

She said retailers bought artificial trees early and many people have already picked theirs up. If you see one, buy it because there might not be another shipment coming.

“A lot of times the retailers are not bringing in the quantity that they have in the past. They want to be able to be sure that they can sell it before Christmas comes around,” Yamaki explained.

Matson said in an email: “Christmas tree shipments on Matson typically arrive in Honolulu weekly over a 4-week period, starting the week before Black Friday (This year, starting on Nov. 13). Volume is about the same as last year. No shipping delays expected.”

Even trees not shipped to Hawaii will cost more because local farmers paid more for things like fertilizer and soil.

“The trees are going to go up a little bit especially on the tree stands which have almost doubled,” said Aaron O’Brien, Helemano Farms owner.

He said it’s the first time his prices are increasing in four years and will cost about 15% more. He has 3,000 Norfolk Trees this year and will open sooner.

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“We’re opening the weekend before Thanksgiving instead of Black Friday to spread out the crowds,” he said, “so it’s not too crowded.”

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