Sioux Falls, S.D. (KSFY) - It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. But people across the nation are seeing a shortage of real Christmas trees this year. The National Christmas Tree Association said more people want real Christmas trees now more than ever before. But like many other things, the demand is higher than the supply this year.
“It’s a pretty big part of most people's Christmas celebration,” Landscape Garden Centers Assistant Nursery Manager, Laura Kalfs said.
“I would probably encourage people to buy a real Christmas tree. The fake ones smell like plastic. These smell like Christmas,” Farm Fresh Christmas Trees Owner, Jess Elofson said.
Parts of the country are seeing fewer Christmas trees this season. The roots of the shortage go back to the 2008 financial crisis. Demand dropped as cash-strapped Americans choose to spend their money elsewhere. As a result, many growers planted fewer trees. Buyers are feeling the effects of the decision this holiday season.
“Christmas trees don't grow in a year. You know it takes 10 years to mature a full Christmas tree. So that's why you're seeing the shortage now,” Elofson said.
Fortunately, local businesses said they aren't seeing much of an impact.
“The trees are nice, full, lush, and have a really good green color on them. So we really haven't noticed any shortages at all,” Kalfs said.
“I had a guy from New York ask me what it would cost for me to ship him a Christmas tree because he couldn't get one. I thought he was joking at first and then his message was like, no this is no joke. Can you UPS me a Christmas tree?” Elofson said.
The National Christmas Tree Association said, despite the shortage they, "Are confident that everyone looking for a real Christmas tree this year will have no problem finding the one that their family and children will love."
“It's one of these things that every customer that comes in is happy. No one is upset buying Christmas trees. It’s a good time. Everybody wants a Christmas tree,” Elofson said.
The National Christmas Tree Association expects the shortage to continue next year. KSFY also reached out to the Riverview Christmas Tree Farm in Canton, SD. They said they aren't seeing a shortage because they grow their own trees, but add the demand is higher than ever. If you're still looking to buy a real Christmas tree, The National Christmas Tree Association said the best time is this week.