CHARLOTTE, N.C. – If you plan to buy a real Christmas tree, you will probably pay more than last year.
Tree farmers say it’s not due to the weather, but the recession from 10 years ago.
Farmers say they don’t have as much of a supply as they usually do.
During the recession, many farmers had to stop growing as many trees because they couldn’t afford it.
The standard tree, the Fraser fir, only grows about a foot each year, which is why the impact is just being felt.
Since the supply can’t keep up with demand, sellers have been forced to raise prices by as much as 15 percent.
“When we went through the recession, a lot of growers, small growers of the Fraser fir variety stopped growing trees,” South Carolina tree seller Lauren Booth said.
Don’t expect a change next year.
Booth said there’s a good chance the prices may stay high for four more years.
“We’ve had some people saying, ‘Oh, I’ve never seen tree prices this high,’ but we haven’t either. We’ve been buying Fraser firs, like I said, for 28, 29 years,” Booth said.
Another unexpected impact is from Hurricane Florence.
Booth said she lost up to 500 trees because of flooding from the storm.
She said that shouldn’t directly affect business for a few more years.
If you want to save money on a tree this year, the National Christmas Tree Association says prices spike on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
If you’re looking for a deal, holding out until the week before Christmas could save you about 22 percent, and the best time to buy is Christmas Eve.