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Christmas Tree Shortage Leads To Higher Prices

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) - "Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, you're more expensive than you used to be."

That's what some holiday tree shoppers may be singing this year when they head to the tree lots. Prices are a little higher than in years past due to a supply shortage.

"It was higher than I was expecting. And we paid about the same for a bigger tree last year," said Kristin Uban as she paid for her tree.

The National Christmas Tree Association says prices are up five to ten percent in many states.

"Speaking to my grower, he said, 'John, I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to give you your entire order this year so you might start looking around'. All the growers are saying, 'man, we're shorter than usual'," said John Patton of Patton Christmas Trees.

It takes seven to ten years for a Christmas tree to grow and that's at the root of the problem.

During the financial crisis nine years ago, cash-strapped Americans bought fewer trees. Demand plummeted and growers either went out of business or planted fewer trees.

Growers are now planting more trees but it will take time for them to reach full height, which means next year's prices could be higher again.

The National Christmas Tree Association says there should be enough trees for everyone who wants one to get one. They suggest getting one soon instead of waiting until the last minute.

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