Buy your Christmas tree now because there's a nationwide Christmas tree shortage, and if you don't get yours early, experts warn, you'll either have to pay a higher price for yours or - gasp! - have to buy a fake one.
As The Tampa Bay Times reports, Christmas tree prices are up this year. In Florida specifically, prices are up by 15 percent.
The reason for this is a combination of economic problems and agricultural ones, according to the National Christmas Tree (yes, that's apparently a thing). You may remember that ten years ago, the economy was in the tank, and fewer people were buying Christmas trees. Since growers didn't harvest as many trees from their farms, that left less space to plant new ones. Since it takes seven to ten years for a Christmas tree to grow from seedling to fully grown, according to New York tree farm, Bell's Christmas Trees, Americans are feeling that shortage right about now.
Another problem was that there was a bad drought in the southeastern U.S. between 2006-2008, making it harder for farmers to nurture their saplings, leading to a Christmas tree shortage a decade later.
And of course, the economy is better now, so Americans want to spend more money on their Christmas trees.
With more people willing to spend more money on an already-short supply of trees, that, too, is going to drive up prices; supply and demand, and all that.
Back in Florida, Christmas tree vendor, David Gallagher, says that you shouldn't have a problem finding a real Christmas tree if you want one, but it will take some preparation.
"We're all for keeping people in real trees, and we honestly have all the confidence in the world that everybody that wants a real tree will be able to find one."First, Gallagher says, you should call your favorite vendor now and reserve your tree. The earlier you get yours, the better. And don't worry about it drying out before Christmas Day. With proper care, says Gallagher, a Christmas tree can last up to a month after it's been cut.
For his part, Gallagher is trying to keep prices down for the sake of his customers. Although nationwide prices are expected to go up by about 15 percent, he's only charging an additional five percent over last year's prices. He says customers shouldn't have to pay for the problems of the tree farmers.
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