Nationwide Christmas tree shortage drives up prices

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NEW YORK — So it is said that money doesn't grow on trees, but this year it will cost you an arm and a leg to buy one.

The cost of Christmas trees are 5 to 10 percent higher because there is a shortage of trees this year. With Christmas just a month away, trees are sprouting up on street corners all over the city.

Shoppers we found at the NYC Tree Shop on Second Avenue and 19th Street were already in the holiday spirit. One woman told PIX11 News she didn't mind that she paid a little more for her tree.

"That's the price of Christmas," she declared, while another woman said, "you can't put a price on happiness."

George Smith, who manages the shop, explained the glut of trees is the result of the deep recession a decade ago when farmers were forced to reduce plantings, creating the shortage now. It takes about 10 years for the trees to grow.

Prices of the trees we saw ranged from $35 for a four-foot Frasier Fir To $500 for a 14-foot deluxe Frasier Fir. They've sold four them in the past couple of days.

Despite the shortage of trees, it's still expected that more than 25 million Christmas trees will be sold this holiday. However, it's being advised not to wait until the last minute to buy yours.