Be prepared to fork over more green for your evergreen this year.

By Meghan Overdeep
November 20, 2019
JackF/Getty Images

A shortage of Christmas trees will mean higher prices for Americans looking to decorate live evergreens this year.

Farmers in the country's major tree-growing states—Oregon, Michigan, North Carolina, and Missouri—told Today that poor weather coupled with the 2008 recession has resulted in fewer Christmas trees this holiday season. Unfortunately, less trees means higher prices.

"When the economic downfall happened it hit the tree business just like real estate," Billy Edwards, who has been growing Christmas trees in North Carolina for more than 40 years, told WGHP. "To understand the shortage now you have to go back 10-12 years."

It takes the average Christmas tree around nine years to reach a desirable height.

"Christmas trees are a cyclical thing where they have to plant every single year," Kathy Kogut, executive director of the Connecticut Christmas Tree Growers Association, explained to WVIT. "So, if you plant 1,000 then 10 years later 1,000 will be ready. But if you lose some, then you're not going to have those ready 10 years later."

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But Tim O'Connor, the executive director of the National Christmas Tree Association, assured Today that everyone who wants a live Christmas tree this year will be able to get one.

"There is not a single community in the country that ever ran out of Christmas trees,'' he 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."

Just don't be surprised if it costs you a little more.

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