Gardening boss warns of Christmas tree shortage this year
BRITONS are invited to order their Christmas tree or risk finding themselves without a festive centerpiece.
Chris Bonnett, founder of GardeningExpress.co.uk, expects demand to skyrocket this year, but says a shortage of truck drivers and potential Covid restrictions could wreak havoc in Christmas preparations .
Truck driver shortages in Denmark are expected to impact imports into the UK, with any Covid-related restrictions further compounding the problems.
Demand is also expected to increase after last year’s muted celebrations, as families and friends celebrate the festivities together.
Denmark is a major producer of live Christmas trees with around 90 percent of its harvest exported to other European countries.
Last year it ran into problems after halting exports in an attempt to control a mutation in the coronavirus found in mink farms.
Now, the shortage of drivers in Denmark could affect the distribution of Christmas trees across Europe.
With less than 100 days of Christmas, Mr. Bonnett is already seeing a jump in the number of customers looking for Christmas trees on his site despite the Christmas range not yet fully online.
He urges customers to order early to make sure they are able to get a tree before the big day.
He said: “The last few years have taken their toll with the Christmas tree market. The mild winters in the Scandinavian countries made it more difficult to cut trees. Add the Covid restrictions in place last year and the current shortage of truck drivers and you can see why we are concerned there may be a shortage of trees.
“A Christmas tree is an essential part of the festivities, not just on Christmas Day, but also as it approaches – picking up the tree, pressing it in the car and decorating before the celebrations.
“This year it will mean even more after last year’s foreclosure restrictions, which is why we are already seeing an increase in customers looking for Christmas trees.
“I hope that by December things will improve.”
Mr Bonnett added: “We are seeing disruption issues in the retail industry, from food and beverage to gifts and clothing.
“For Brits who really want to go all out to celebrate this year, the best advice is to plan ahead and get all the essentials pre-ordered so you can enjoy the festivities stress-free.”