Christmas tree shortage could mean paying more this year

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LA JOLLA, Calif. -- Your Christmas tree may be a bit more expensive this year.

States across the country are experiencing a shortage, and local sellers worry the shortage could impact your wallet and push smaller lots out of business.

Mr. Jingle’s Christmas Trees in La Jolla has a fresh supply of 1,500 Christmas trees ready to sell this holiday season. But manager Gordon Sanchez worries the shortage of trees is not only making them costlier but threatening to push small lots like his out of business.

At his lot, “you’re allowed to come in as a family tradition,” Sanchez said. ”I have people that have been here three, four, five, six years.”

But he’s worried that family tradition may be coming to an end for smaller Christmas tree businesses around the country.

“The Christmas tree shortage is actually becoming progressively worse," Sanchez said.

Sanchez says states that usually grow Christmas trees have been affected by hot summers and farmers choosing to grow more lucrative crops.

“So trees are going up 15 to 20% overall,” says Sanchez.

Sanchez says it’s also been tougher for smaller lots to compete with big box stores.

“Last year we were at the big box store and it was just so crazy and nutty,” customer Keith Mullin said. “And there were just so many people that it was just overwhelming.”

For customers like Mullin, picking the right tree at a local lot is more about the holiday experience. Despite the slightly heftier price, he plans to keep the family tradition alive.

“It’d have to be pretty high prices for us not to do it,” Mullin said. “But it’d be hard.”

Mr. Jingle’s Christmas Trees will start lot selling Christmas trees on Black Friday. The prices range from $50 to $1,500.

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