CHANDLER, AZ – Picking out the perfect Christmas tree is never easy. “If I could have somebody just deliver me the perfect tree, I would do it because it gets kind of difficult,” said Rachel Mccabe in Chandler Thursday. With so many shapes and sizes, who could blame her.? However, Mccabe said this is by far the earliest she’s ever started her search.”I don’t normally do it on Thanksgiving, this is the first time I’ve ever done it on Thanksgiving Day, I normally would do it a week from now,” said Mccabe. But the early start may play into her favor this year. That’s because tree lots across the nation might seem a little lean.
“This is my second season working for Valley View Christmas Tree Farms,” said lot manager Jeff Macklin. Macklin says while his lot is fully stocked, many others may find themselves scraping by.”The supply is down this year and demand is obviously still gonna be high, I mean everybody wants their green, real Christmas tree,” said Macklin. The tree shortage stems from the Great Recession which drove down demand for the holiday staple.
A tree takes about 10 years to reach average size before making it to market. “Part of the problem is that the recession ten years ago led growers to plant fewer trees, and now, 10 years later there aren’t enough,” said Macklin. Along with a smaller selection, prices according to the National Christmas Tree Association could increase by up to 30 percent as supply dwindles. “You’ll see a higher price at all the box stores just like you will on the lots,” said Macklin. But with lots of options still available, his suggestion is simple. “If you want the best choices, show up as early as possible,” said Macklin.