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Local Christmas Tree Lots May Sell Out Early This Year Due To Nationwide Shortage

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — If you haven't bought your Christmas tree already, now is the time to do it. Local tree lot operators are saying they may sell out very early this year.

Industry experts said excessive heat coupled with flooding in the states that grow the majority of Christmas trees has led to a nationwide Christmas tree shortage.

Tina Callas, the owner of Tina's Trees in Sherman Oaks, has been in business for 43 years.

Back in June, her grower in Oregon informed her that a severe heatwave damaged much of his crop.

"Everybody I called basically was trying to get enough trees to supply their existing customers, so there were no extra trees out there," Callas said.

Callas expects to sell out of trees in a little over a week.

She also has had to raise her prices due to labor and transportation costs going up. Callas said she's paying about 25 percent more to transport her trees.

There are around 15,000 Christmas tree farms in the United States and each year Americans purchase 25 to 30 million real trees.

Jami Warner with the American Christmas Tree Association said those who haven't yet bought a tree, should do so this weekend.

"However, Christmas is not canceled," Warner said. "There is a Christmas tree out there for everyone who wants a Christmas tree. It may not be exactly what the consumer is looking for."

Supply chain challenges have also impacted the artificial tree market.

One of the biggest sellers is Balsam Hill. The company's CEO reports that it is now paying 300 percent more to bring its trees here from Asia.

As a result, it's increased its prices this year by about 20 percent.

It takes between seven and 15 years to grow a Christmas tree so this past year's weather could have an impact on Christmases to come.

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