SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Sioux City’s Boy Scouts Troop 208 have a holiday tradition that dates back more than a decade now, selling Christmas trees.
After a year way because of the pandemic, the troops have less trees to offer than ever before.
Chris Albert has helped out with Troop 208’s Christmas tree drive for ten years now but he’s never seen a year like this.
“Supply and demand, that’s really what it comes down to. Five years ago, we would be able to get 200, almost 300 trees in our little lot here for what we pay for but unfortunately we were able to get about half of that,” said Albert.
The scouts hold this fundraiser every holiday season, putting in efforts to raise money for an upcoming summer trip to a Scouts camp near Colorado Springs. Albert spoke on the lengthy process of obtaining what trees they do have.
“We’ll put in our order for these trees in June. That’s how early we have to actually start planning this to just get what you see here,” said Albert.
Albert said they picked up their order last week in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, who collects the trees from suppliers in Wisconsin and northern Minnesota. Despite lacking in numbers, Albert said they have a wide variety of sizes and species from a classic Frasier fir to a white pine. Due to factors like forest fires in Canada and a choked supply chain, the price tag for a quality “real tree” is rising, much like any other commodity.
“Per tree, depending on the type, they went up 25%-30% each so that was a big factor in how many trees we could get,” said Albert.
Albert said their prices and selection are still comparable to the big box stores and purchasing a tree from Troop 208 keeps that money in the community. Their tree lot in between Hyvee and AutoZone on Gordon Drive will re-open 8 a.m. Saturday.