VALRICO, Fla. — A nationwide Christmas tree shortage is hitting the Bay area, and tree lots are already selling out.
In Hillsborough County, it's becoming harder and harder to find any trees above 7 feet this holiday season.
Our sister station, WCPO, wrote prices are higher and "we're not going to be short — everybody looking for a real tree will be able to get one," Doug Hundley, a spokesman for the National Christmas Tree Association, told the New York Times. "But it is a tight market, and prices will rise."
Why? Blame the Great Recession. In 2008, when festive feeling was underscored by financial anxiety and businesses of all types were working to save money, many tree farms cut back on sapling purchases and planting. This year, that smaller crop is the one at adult harvesting size.
A North Carolina man who has been selling trees in Valrico for almost three decades just delivered another 100 trees to his lot on the corner of Bloomingdale Avenue and Lithia Pinecrest Road.
Bill Trice tells us he will have sold around 450-500 trees in all at the Stover Ridge Nursery.
Trice owns his own land in the mountains of North Carolina, and grows them himself, before cutting them down and selling them in Florida.
He tells us he has never seen a shortage like this, "it will go on four, five, six years at least."