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National Christmas tree shortage to impact prices

NEW YORK — If you prefer to have a real Christmas tree over a fake one you’ll need more green this year.

The National Christmas Tree Association said a tree shortage could hike up prices as much as 10 percent, and that’s not good news for the Mitchell family.

Each year, the entire clan pick out their tree as part of their holiday tradition.

“Every year since our boys were little we would go out and look for the perfect tree,” said Judy Mitchell.

A Christmas tree at just the right height and just the right price.

“This tree probably would have been $20 cheaper — it would have been 165 dollars.”

Daryll Smith, the owner of Holiday Hills Christmas Trees, said these mark some of the most expensive trees he’s sold in his 30 years of experience.

“Last year about five percent. This year we increased 10 percent over that.”

The National Christmas Tree Association said the sticker shock stems from the great recession, which led farmers to plant less trees creating a shortage.

“We absorbed as much as a company as we could and then we had to raise our prices after that.”

The tree shortage forced him to open three less tree lots, hiring about 15 people less and taking a significant financial blow.

Each tree takes seven to ten years to reach six or seven feet and it may take some time to recover.

As for the Mitchells, their tree may be smaller this year, but they were still happy to participate in a tradition that’s been going on for generations.