Here's why you should get your Christmas tree early this year

Walt Rybas of Walt's Tree Lots is usually able to get a good supply of noble firs -- not this year.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The grinch might not get a chance to steal Christmas this year because of a combination of supply chain issues and people snagging up Christmas trees in advance.

At Walt's Tree Lot in Philadelphia's Torresdale section, customers were already out buying or looking at Christmas trees this Thanksgiving Day.

But vendors say buying one later may not be a good idea, considering they have fewer trees available this holiday season due to the supply chain issues.

Walt Rybas of Walt's Tree Lots is usually able to get a good supply of noble firs, which he says are sturdier trees that last longer. But this year he was limited.

"Because of the fires and the drought out west, I only got 100 of them to come in," said Rybas.

The world's supply chain is under pressure from surging consumer demand, labor shortages, overseas manufacturing delays and the COVID-19 outbreak.

Vendors say these problems have especially affected artificial trees, which are mostly imported from Asia and take longer to get to the U.S.

"We're seeing consumers really move their holiday shopping timeline, not just for this historical trend, but also because of some concerns about supply chain disruption," said Katherine Cullen with the National Retail Federation.

And like on everything else, this is leading to higher freight costs.

"The freight from the West Coast is up a couple of thousand dollars, which hurts. I mean it's passed down but it hurts. I think it's probably gonna be 30% higher than last year," said Rybas.

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