Oh Christmas Tree, or no Christmas tree? Shortage causes holiday woes for Norfolk business

Norfolk

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A Norfolk business is feeling the impacts of a nationwide Christmas tree shortage.

Daniel Haworth Jr.’s family has operated the seasonal Norfolk Farm Market for 32 years but for the first time, they won’t be selling Christmas trees.

“It’s a problem we’ve seen for a long time coming and the wave has finally arrived,” he said.

Haworth says the supplier they’ve used for decades called him on Monday with heart dropping news.

“It was like he was calling me to tell me about the death of a family member. We put our order for tees in May of this past year,” he said. “Even six months before trees even arrive, we’re planning and planning. I thought the call was to confirm our date of delivery, not that there would be no trees.”

A number of issues have contributed to the shortage including the growing of fewer trees, the aging of tree farm owners, more people buying trees, bigger stores buying them, and the national labor shortage, which impacts delivery, according to Haworth.

The closure this year isn’t something that will only impact Haworth.

“It’s not just picking a toy off the shelf or checking out of the checkout lane. It’s people in this community where we know their names. We know their children, their stories. We know their hardships and we share those together. It’s a loss across the board,” he said.

Haworth says it will also impact about seven employees who make about an extra $1,000 helping out during this time of year.

But he says it’s not going to close the market permanently and customers should expect to see them back next year.

“I’ll be back next year in some fashion, form, or tree. Even if Santa himself has to drop them off. We’ll be here. We miss you,” he said.

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