National Christmas tree shortage causes price hike this holiday season

If you're looking to purchase a Christmas tree, you may be looking at paying a few extra dollars this holiday season.

Posted: Nov 27, 2017 6:31 PM

If you're looking to purchase a Christmas tree, you may be looking at paying a few extra dollars this holiday season.

The recession several years ago is largely to blame for a national Christmas tree shortage which is driving up prices.

“What we're seeing is the biggest tree shortage in 25 years,” co-manager of Wonderland Trees Nate Pritchard said. “So when you're out and about shopping for, looking for your tree, the prices are going to be a little bit higher.”

With Christmas trees growing only about a foot a year, the industry is just now starting to feel the effects.

“There was a glut on the market about 10 years ago,” Christmas tree supplier Mike Hepler said. “And growers couldn't afford to really produce what they were producing. And now we're seeing the effect of that.”

But that hasn't hurt traffic at Wonderland Trees in Redding.

“Whether or not they know about the shortage, they're expecting to pay a good amount for something special,” Pritchard said.

One customer said she wasn’t bothered by the increase in price.

“I mean, they're a little bit higher than last year,” customer Wendy Johnston said. “But it just depends on where you buy your tree.”

If price is a concern, for only $10, you can get a permit at the U.S. Forest Service office and cut a tree yourself.

“It's cheaper,” Redding resident Johanna Call said. “And getting out into the woods with our family spending the day, maybe some snow.”

U.S. Forest Service public information officer Josef Orosz said it’s a tradition for many families in the North State.

“It's a great family experience” Orosz said. “It builds a lot of memories for the kids.”

One other option is getting an artificial tree tree, but some folks say it's just not the same.

“I've had a fake tree before, had one for several years,” Johnston said. “But we just prefer a live tree.”

Experts says the shortage is expected to continue until around 2025.

But most people said it's a small price to pay for a ‎time-honored holiday tradition.

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