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Bah Humbug! Nationwide Christmas Tree Shortage Could Spike Prices

OREGON CITY, Ore. (CBS Local) -- If you had a tough time finding a bargain on a Christmas tree last year, the experts say prepare to work even harder this holiday season.

Christmas tree prices are expected to go up as supplies tighten.

In fact, some longtime Christmas tree farms in Oregon have shut down due to a shortage of fully grown trees.

For the first time in 27 years, the historic Kirchem Farm in Oregon City will not be selling Christmas trees at all this year.

"I'm sorry everybody," Kirchem Farm co-owner Cher Tollefson told KPTV. "Our trees just need a year to catch up."

Tollefson blames the shortfall on a shortage of seedlings a decade ago and the dry, hot summers of 2017 and 2018, which destroyed thousands of younger trees.

"We couldn't get seedlings," Tollefson said. "And then when we started to be able to buy them again, we bought them and invested in the planting and everything, and then the summer heat, we've had really hot dry summers, so we lost a lot of seedlings."

Tollefson says she knows her farm is not the only one impacted by the shortage. She says customers can expect to pay at least $25 more this year than what they typically pay for a Christmas tree.

And Oregon is not alone.

"Across the country we're in the same boat, North Carolina is the second biggest producer and they're having a bit of a shortage as well," Oregon State University tree expert Chal Landgren told KGW.

Michigan and Missouri are also reporting Christmas tree shortages.

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