FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Christmas trees are usually the centerpiece of homes decorated for the season.
But this year they have been a little harder to find.
A lot of it has to do with trees bought in years past.
“Over the last few years, there was more demand,” said Mike Reifenberg, the co-owner of St.Joe Christmas Tree Farm. “So a lot of those trees didn’t get the opportunity to get bigger.”
Outside of increased demand from years past, the market has also been heavily affected by inflation.
Reifenberg says that bigger trees are outpacing the inflation rate and may cost 30-40% more than their counterparts from last year.
When talking about inflation Reifenberg points to diesel and fertilizer skyrocketing making growing and transporting the products less profitable.
But the increase in cost won’t affect one Fort Wayne tradition.
“We have been giving away trees since 1992,” said Jarrad Getty, manager of Preferred Automotive.
The tradition has been a little harder to pull off this year because of the shortages in trees, but Jake Leonard who is also a manager with the company was adamant when asked if it was worth it.
“It’s not necessarily about price, we look at it’s about giving back. Money’s just temporary is the way I look at it. If we have the funds available to give back to the community, why not?” said Leonard.
The company got its first shipment of trees on Friday to be given out on a first come first serve basis.
They advise calling a given location ahead of time to check their remaining stock of trees.