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Paying More Green: Christmas Tree Shortage Leads To Sticker Shock This Holiday Season

PASADENA (CBSLA) — Angelenos are paying more green for their evergreens once again this holiday season.

High demand for Christmas trees has outpaced the supply across the country, leading to sticker shock in recent years.

"For the past five to six years, prices been going up every year, more or less eight to 12 percent," Mikey Topalian, of Santa and Mikey's Christmas Trees, told CBS2/KCAL9's Jeff Nguyen. A 6-7ft Noble fur went for $89 at the lot five years ago. Now, similar trees are going for $115.

Some shoppers went with a smaller tree this year to stay within budget – while people like Michael Lee dug into in their pockets. Lee picked out this Christmas tree in Pasadena after a brief visit to his local Home Depot.

"[I] got over to the tree farm area, and saw there were about 50 people in two separate lines," he said. "I mean, it's a once a year deal and it's for the holiday.  I don't mind the expense."

The National Christmas Tree Association says we're still feeling the effects of the Great Recession, when fewer trees were planted because of lower demand. A tree takes about 10 years to mature – which is why we're seeing fewer available.

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