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From Christmas trees to poinsettias, Lethbridge stores experience shipping delays

If you’re looking to purchase a real Christmas tree this holiday season, you might have a tighter shopping window than in previous years.

Dustin Napper, a horticulturist at Green Haven Garden Centre in Lethbridge, currently only has artificial trees in stock. Delivery of his real trees from eastern Canada are expected to be a week later than normal due to shipping issues.

“We originally expected them to arrive this weekend, but there has been some logistical complications over the last few days, so hopefully they’ll be here in the coming week,” Napper said.

The centre usually orders around 600 trees for the season and Napper expects that many again this year.

“We’ve had lots of people asking so there’s lots of excitement for the trees to come in,” he said.

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“We’re doing our best to get them here.”

Read more: More Albertans motivated to cut their own fresh Christmas tree due to local shortage

This past week has also brought interruptions for another Christmas staple: poinsettias.

With most of The Sill and Soil’s supply coming from the Abbotsford and Burnaby areas, shipments to the store for the plant, as well as greenery to build wreaths, are delayed.

“We got our first email early last week saying there could possibly (be) interruptions and then the day of our scheduled deliveries, we got confirmation that things would not be shipping out,” store owner Hannah Lee said.

But with Highway 3 out of B.C. opening up to essential travel, deliveries are expected to arrive soon.

“Hopefully (they’ll come) this week, we haven’t heard if they’re going to make it through, but next week we’re pretty confident,” Lee added.

Read more: ‘A supply shortage out there’: Christmas tree demand high during second year of COVID-19 pandemic

For those wanting to take holiday decorating into their own hands, free permits are available from the province to harvest trees on designated crown land.

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Maps for those areas can be found on the province’s website and officials are reminding tree-choppers that some southern Alberta zones fall under Alberta Parks jurisdiction.

“There are some areas close by Lethbridge in the Castle Wildland Provincial Park and the Castle Provincial Park, but that is a separate permit,” Alberta forestry and rural economic development information officer Wendy Machan said.

Whether purchasing in-store or collecting your own tree with an axe — it’s a good idea to plan ahead this year to ensure a merry Christmas.

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