SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCBD) – COVID-19 has many diving head-first into the Christmas spirit earlier than normal this year. However, a combination of a tree shortage and a heightened demand for real Christmas trees has vendors across the Lowcountry worried that they will exhaust their supplies well before Christmas.
Mistletoe Christmas Tree Lot in Summerville sold roughly a thousand Christmas trees last holiday season, and the owners say that number could double this year due to increased demand.
“I mean people were calling us at the beginning of November for their trees so that was unusual,” says Kathy Zdnek, who owns the farm with her husbad, Robert.
The Zdneks ordered trees for the up-coming season back in January of 2020. When the COVID-19 pandemic set-in, Robert says he wasn’t sure what to expect when November rolled around.
“Our holiday season runs from September pretty much until the end of December and we were kind of scared. We put a lot of money into the business and not sure if people were going to come.”
The Zdnek’s have operated their tree lot for eight years but COVID-19 forced the couple to make changes, adding hand sanitizer and social distancing among other measures.
“And we also this year offer curbside pickup for a tree so if you know you want a six or seven foot tree, you can do contactless payment.”
And while trees continue to suffer a shortage, Robert says the demand for Christmas trees and spirit may be the highest he’s ever seen.
“I don’t see an issue this year at all, I see it being the best Christmas, best season ever… [Before,] people would come in and buy a tree and leave. They’re buying all of the add-ons this year. More wreaths for the windows, poinsettias for decorating.”
However, there could be problems for those who typically wait until the last minute to purchase a tree. Robert recommends waiting no later than the second weekend in December if you’re looking for a real tree.
“There’s no extra stock even if they had it you know to give me or to buy from them so it is what we have on the lots this year and people just need to come a little earlier,” says Robert.
Robert says he plans to have another shipment of trees arrive in early December but says its likely they could run out of trees more than a week before Christmas due to demand.