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'More difficult than any other time' | Christmas tree sellers detail issues getting trees in on time

Experts say Christmas tree shoppers shouldn’t be surprised if they see higher prices and a smaller selection.

PLANO, Texas — A North Texas Christmas tree seller is facing many roadblocks this holiday season in getting his product out to customers.

Experts have recently said not only will this be a common problem among sellers across the country but prices could be higher as well.

There’s an art to unpacking a freshly cut Christmas tree that’s just arrived to Savvy’s Christmas Trees in Plano, owner Chris Saraceni said.

“There’s a routine and we get in our routine and get a lot of trees up real quick,” Saraceni said. “Smells like Christmas. Beautiful, beautiful thing.”

The business is named after Saraceni's five-year-old daughter.

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Saraceni spent the better part of Monday unpacking trees that recently arrived from Oregon.

It is Saraceni's sixth year selling Noble, Fraser and Nordmann firs in the parking lot at 1900 Preston Rd. in Plano. Saraceni also has a location in Richardson.

“I was expecting my trees, hoping for my trees a week ago or so,” Saraceni said.

Saraceni's first shipment of trees arrived four days late. The next shipment came early. he said navigating delivery expectations has been frustrating.

"Difficult, more difficult than any other time," Saraceni said when describing what the process has been like to get his trees from Oregon to North Texas this year. "Strenuous."

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When the trees unexpectedly arrived early over the weekend, Saraceni said they had to close operations for six hours simply to unload them.

“Truck drivers are just scarce,” Saraceni said. “There’s a delay in getting what you need on time.”

Also factoring into the frustration is the historic heat wave that hit the Pacific Northwest over the summer.

“The heat wave set in, and we were worried about getting trees at all,” Saraceni said. 

There is also a feeling that everything seems to cost more in 2021, according to Saraceni.

“Stands. Water bowls. Everything is up this year,” Saraceni said. “But we’re trying to keep our prices pretty much what they were last year for sure.”

Experts have said Christmas tree shoppers shouldn’t be surprised to see higher prices and a smaller selection.

“If you’re looking for a five to six-foot or a six to seven-foot (tree), I’d get out early,” Saraceni said. “Go find it and get it in your house. You don’t even have to put it in your house. You can put it out in your backyard where it’s not sunny. Water your tree every single day, and take it in the house in two weeks.”

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