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Your Christmas tree could cost a little extra this year

ST. LOUIS - It’s a busy weekend to pick out your Christmas tree but you may be paying more for your favorite fir this year. The National Christmas Tree Association says there's a tree shortage and it’s having an effect on the local inventory.

The cold weather and rain couldn’t keep people from buying their Christmas trees Friday night at Ted Drewes on Chippewa. Most of the trees there came from Nova Scotia but staff said a big freeze over the summer there ruined a lot of them, so they had to get some trees from here in the states.

But the main reason for the tree shortage is the Great Recession; yes, the economic downslide from a decade ago.

It turns out there was an oversupply of trees after the Great Recession, causing many growers to leave the business. Since it takes a Christmas tree about 10 years to grow, the 2018 tree buying season is marred by a tight supply.

Fortunately, the staff at Ted Drewes said the Christmas tree shortage wouldn’t hurt their prices.

Meanwhile, staffers with Sullivan Farms, who sell trees off of Watson Road in Crestwood, said they had no problems getting their inventory and there would only be a minor price impact.

“A few of the prices have gone up about 5 bucks but…pretty decent prices for sure,” said Nick Elwood, Sullivan Farms.

The National Christmas Tree Association said prices could be higher than last year's average retail price of about $75.

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