Oregon's record-breaking heat waves and raging wildfires are set to dent Christmas tree crop output, resulting in supply constraints that may send prices skyrocketing come December.
According to Reuters, who spoke with multiple Christmas tree farm operators in Oregon, one of the top Christmas tree producing states, extreme heat and wildfires are impacting crop yields.
Jacob Hemphill, the owner of Hemphill Tree Farm in Oregon City, estimates he's already lost more than $100,000 in trees due to the latest back-to-back heatwaves. At one point, temperatures in the area were triple digits for days.
"The second day of the heat, it was 116. I came in the driveway that night and seen the trees were basically cooking. Burnt down to nothing," Hemphill said.
He said the losses will impact his farm revenue this year but hopes the 2022 season will improve.
"I mean, you just kind of got to roll with the punches, and replant next year... and hopefully make up for the loss that we're gonna have in the future."
Reuters spoke to several tree farm operators across the Willamette Valley who said the heat waves have severely damaged their crops.
On top of the heat waves, the Bootleg Fire in Southern Oregon, spurred by months of drought, has burned nearly 400,000 acres and is likely to increase in size as no relief is in sight.
Oregon is the top-selling state of Christmas trees which are Douglas fir, Noble fir, Grand fir, and Nordmann fir. This could present supply constraints come December.
In other words, on the back of already record-high prices, consumers could shell out even more money this year for a Christmas tree if shortages materialize in Oregon. On top of the supply crunch, the cost of everything, from fuel to labor to transportation, has soared and will positively impact prices.