TUALATIN, OR (WCMH) — If you’re planning on buying a real tree for Christmas this year, you should expect to pay more for the holiday tradition.
Portland NBC affiliate KGW reports that the nation’s top two producers of pre-cut Christmas trees — Oregon and North Carolina — are facing shortages. In the early 2000s, Christmas tree growers planted too many trees and were left with an oversupply during the Great Recession, when consumers weren’t buying as many trees. The recession and low prices forced many tree farmers out of business.
“At one point, we were selling trees for less than they cost to grow,” Casey Grogan, an Oregon tree farmer, told KGW.
Now, the remaining farmers are struggling to keep up with the rebounding demand. Experts say it could be years before the supply catches up with demand because it can take up to nine years before a tree is ready to be cut and sold. Grogan said he expects prices to rise about 10% this year.
If your heart is set on the perfect real tree this year, Grogan said the best thing to do is to buy early.
“[The] bigger concern might be that everbody may not get a tree this season, so I would suggest people go out and shop early and get their tree sooner than normal,” he said.