Business & Economy

Why your Christmas tree will cost more this year

The 110-foot Christmas tree at the Grove at Farmer's Market, seen on Dec. 20, 2011, is one of the tallest Christmas trees in the city of Los Angeles.
The 110-foot Christmas tree at the Grove at Farmer's Market, seen on Dec. 20, 2011, is one of the tallest Christmas trees in the city of Los Angeles.
Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

Visitors make their way through a Christmas tree installation on December 11, 2011 in Melbourne, Australia.
Visitors make their way through a Christmas tree installation on December 11, 2011 in Melbourne, Australia.
Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Preparing to pick out a Christmas tree to decorate and trim? Prepare to pay more — about 10 percent more than you paid for last year's Christmas.

Why? The roots of this year's price hike stretch back a decade, according to GWD Forestry.

Christmas trees take about ten years to mature. A decade ago, the United States was in the midst of a deep recession. Sales of Christmas trees were sluggish so growers planted fewer seedlings. Fast forward to 2017: The economy has rebounded but fewer mature trees are available.

With fewer trees to sell, the existing ones are more expensive. It's basic supply and demand.

Droughts in North Carolina and wildfires in Oregon have also reduced the number of Christmas trees available this year.

Tina Callas, who owns Tina's Trees in Sherman Oaks and Calabasas, said she paid an additional 4 to 15 dollars per tree this year.

"They plant in cycles. For a while, there were a lot of Noble Firs on the market. For the farmers, it was difficult. They couldn't raise the prices because there was a bit of a glut," she told KPCC.

File photo of a Christmas tree.
File photo of a Christmas tree.
Vasile Cotovanu via Flickr Creative Commons

That's another problem. A glut of trees in past years caused several U.S. growers to exit the industry. Between 2010 and 2015, the number of active tree growers fell from 699 to 485, a drop of more than 30 percent, according to the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

Most of Callas's trees come from Oregon, which produces more Christmas trees than any other state in the country. She expects to sell thousands of trees this season.