Mike Timmermann, Clark.com
Be prepared to pay a little bit more — and perhaps search a little bit longer — for the perfect Christmas tree this year.
There have been multiple news reports across the country that the supply of fresh-cut trees can’t keep up with the demand, which could lead to higher prices.
This is a problem that you can blame, in part, on the Great Recession.
Christmas tree shortage: What you need to know
Here’s an explanation: During the economic crisis in 2008, demand for real trees dropped and growers didn’t plant as many of them the following year.
Back then, retailers were paying just $12 for trees that cost farmers $16 to produce, the Associated Press reports.
Since it takes about eight to 10 years to grow a Christmas tree for the market, we’re just now feeling the impact of the decision by growers to plant fewer trees.
But now that the recession is in the rear view mirror, demand for fresh-cut trees is back.
According to the AP, large-volume retailers are in a better position to compete for the short supply, which is hurting smaller businesses — family-run Christmas tree lots.
According to a report from KUSA-TV, the Christmas tree shortage could last until 2025 in some areas.
If you’re planning to buy a real tree this year, don’t wait until the week before Christmas to avoid supply issues, such as a limited selection and price increases.