What happened? why are plants and trees so expensive now?

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Really? Where have you been? Everything is more expensive now. The Covid-19 virus caused an economic meltdown worldwide. I read an article just the other day indicating that prices started rising at an unusually fast pace in the US starting in early 2021, following years of low inflation. Inflation measures how quickly prices consumers pay for a broad range of goods and services are rising. Inflation has lessened from its recent 9.1% peak in June of this year but is still higher than any point since the early 1980s.

La Tejana Tree Sales © 2016

The cost of production in every industry began to sky rocket when the US was placed in a stranglehold as COVID-19 ravaged the nation in March of 2020. Growers nationwide began to struggle to keep and maintain a workforce. Many skilled agricultural workers lost their housing and were unable to feed their families and had to move in with other family members to make ends meet. Workers were forced to move away from the growing operations they worked for and had to quit their jobs because commuting wasn’t practical.

Due to the severe snowstorm we had in Texas in February 2021 growers lost millions of dollars in crops thus creating a nationwide shortage of plant material. The majority of the plant material you see has to be imported from other states which is very expensive due to the rising cost of fuel. Thus the cost of plants and trees has risen between 30 and 50 percent depending on the type of plants or trees you want.

Out of state growers are having to step up production to help out while growers in Texas grow new crops to fill the void. That means out of state growers are having to crank out plant material as fast as possible. Due to that fact we are seeing plant material come in at half the size we are used to receiving. For example, we were used to getting 30-gallon red tips at 6′ tall last year and every year prior. Now we are lucky to get them in at 4′ tall. We have zero control over what is going on in the marketplace but we strive to locate the healthiest largest plants and trees available.

The trucking industry is the lifeblood of America’s economy. Nearly every good consumed in the U.S. is put on a truck at some point. In May of 2022 transportation costs almost doubled and many small transport companies shut down almost overnight as they could no longer afford to keep their rigs on the road due to the jump in the cost of fuel, maintenance and insurance. Small trucking companies are crucial to the transport of agricultural products produced nationwide. Very few growers of plants or trees can afford to pull that