Christmas tree shortage could impact prices - FOX10 News | WALA

Christmas tree shortage could impact prices

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(FOX10 News) (FOX10 News)

It’s a holiday tradition for many families across the gulf coast.  With Thanksgiving weekend here, lots of you will head out looking for the perfect Christmas tree.  Depending on where you go and what you’re looking for, that tree may be hard to come by and cost more when you find it. 
The day before Thanksgiving, some folks were already out picking their perfect Christmas tree.  According to the National Christmas Tree Association, that may be harder to do this year and the sooner you shop, the better.  That’s because trees on the market today were planted about 10 years ago.  In 2007, the country was in the middle of a major recession and many tree farms closed or scaled back.  Fewer trees also means higher prices.
“These are our biggest trees we’ve got left,” said Taylor Gregorius with Bellforest Christmas Tree Farm.  “It’s been kind of a shortage this year.  I mean, we had two 12 foot trees and those were gone straight off the truck as soon as we got them and these are our Frasier furs.”
Gregorius has been growing, buying and selling Christmas trees for many years and said this year’s different.  He’s not concerned with running out of trees but said the taller ones, 11 feet and up are scarce and all are more expensive with an average price increase of about 10 percent.
“The Shipping’s gone up and they charge them up and it costs us more to bring them down,” Gregorius said.
Despite the reported shortage this year, the Lowes in Malbis had a good selection on hand and managers said they don’t expect that to change.  On an average year, the store sells about 2,000 trees.  This year, an eight to nine foot Frazier Fir will cost you almost $70 dollars there, with smaller ones starting at less than $40 dollars.
“What we’ve got is about 300 on hand right now and then we’ve got roughly anywhere from 800 to 1,000 coming within the next couple of weeks so we don’t see any anticipation of shortages,” said Assistant Store Manager, George Strange IV.
The early shoppers were rewarded with plenty to choose from.
“The selection was good.  I mean, the first one we saw, it popped out at us so we took it,” said shopper, Kara McDavid.
Because of the recession and droughts over the last 10 years, the National Christmas Tree Association is concerned that Christmas trees may be in short supply for another two or three Christmases. 

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