YORKSHIRE, N.Y. — Across the United States, Christmas trees seem to be in short supply this year.
The National Christmas Tree Association expects tree prices to jump by 10 percent or more in some areas of the country, due to a nationwide shortage caused by the recession.
Here's what happened: Last decade, the poor economy forced many growers, particularly in places like North Carolina and Oregon, to stop planting trees because they couldn't sell them. A tree takes eight to 10 years to grow, so, eight to 10 years later, the country is feeling the effects of a post-recession Christmas tree shortage.
That will probably impact you in Western New York if you're looking to buy a tree from a big box retailer that imports its trees.
But you won't have a problem if you try to buy local.
John Rosier, the owner of Forevergreens in Yorkshire near the Erie and Cattaraugus County border, sells trees for about $40 apiece. He said that price has remained pretty steady.
"Our prices are about normal. I believe we're not as high-priced as you get toward the city. You travel a lot, you save a little," he said.
The Christmas Tree Farmers Association of New York told 2 On Your Side that New York really isn't experiencing the shortage that other states are feeling. 2017, by the way, has been a terrific year for growers because all of the rainfall.
Rosier isn't worrying about a post-recession tree economy, and he said his competitors don't seem to be having issues either.
But there could be other problems in the Christmas tree market down the line.
"The big thing is, people are retiring, and there's not a younger generation getting involved. So it's a lot of work, a lot of time in the field," Rosier said. "It's great to be out there in Mother Nature, but it's a lot of time also."
A lot of people seem to appreciate that, too.
The Shermans came to Forevergreens from Wheatfield just to find the perfect tree.
"It's a lot less expensive," Dave Sherman said, standing with his family. "You're supporting local growers, and we love coming out in nature because it's beautiful."