The potential Christmas crisis is driving tree prices up this year

By Mackenzie Schmidt
December 03, 2019 02:49 PM

Not only are early holiday decorators happier (according to a psychologist), this year, they also safeguarded their good cheer against an ongoing Christmas crisis.

The U.S. is facing a tree shortage and has been for the past several years, according to the National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA), which may drive up prices for consumers.

The cause of the shortage can be traced back to the Great Recession the country endured nearly ten years ago. During the economic downturn, tree farmers were limiting their crops to save money during a time of decreased demand.

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“In those years we were in a recession. Tree sales were down, prices were down, and we weren’t planting as many trees,” Doug Hundley of the NCTA told News 12 Long Island in 2017.

Christmas trees can take about ten years to reach their full height of 7 to 8 feet, so the effects are now being felt.

Tim O’Connor, the executive director of the National Christmas Tree Association, previously told TODAY that early shoppers should face no issues in terms of availability and variety of trees, but that prices may be higher because of the limited stock.

“There is not a single community in the country that ever ran out of Christmas trees,” O’Connor said. “There may be certain locations that ran out of trees because of various reasons, but not too far away there will still be another place to get a tree.”

Many farms tend to lower prices right before Christmas to help clear out their lots, so those hoping to avoid the extra cost should wait until the last weeks of December to grab their evergreen.