That Christmas tree may cost more green

Industry attributes smaller supply to 2008 recession

SAN ANTONIO – Decking your halls with a real Christmas tree may cost a little more jingle this year. The National Christmas Tree Association says the 2008 recession is the reason for a smaller supply.

"There is a bit of a tree shortage," said Stasia Staggert, who runs the Holiday Hills tent on Interstate 10 and DeZavala Road.

During the recession, people bought fewer trees, causing farmers to plant fewer and even go out of business. After a rough 2008, a bad crop hurt the following year. Typical-size Christmas trees take seven to 10 years to grow.

"A lot of nurseries closed up, and here we are nine years later, no trees were planted," Staggert said. "There's a shortage."

There are still a lot of trees, just fewer than years past. That is driving up prices on the wholesale and retail level.

What can San Antonio shoppers expect?

At Holiday Hills, an eight-foot Noble fir was $152, $8 more than one year ago.

At the H-E-B on Loop 1604 at Bandera Road, supplies were plentiful as crews were setting up a forest of firs.

A 10-foot Fraser was priced at $125, $12 more than last year. And, the budget-friendly Douglass fir was $3 more than last year, now $38.

Shoppers said they didn't mind paying a little more to bring the  scents of the season into their homes.

"I love the smell of them," said Shawna Jones. "It's just part of Christmas."

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