Here’s why your Christmas tree might be more expensive this year

Katey Psencik kpsencik@gatehousemedia.com
FILE - In this Nov. 2011 file photo, Joseph Kang carries a Christmas tree as he restocks the inventory at Noel's tree farm in Litchfield, N.H. A tight supply of Christmas trees this season could force consumers to not get the exact tree type they want, but there are enough evergreens to go around. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

If you went to buy a Christmas tree this year and you noticed a bit of a strain on your wallet, you’re not the only one. A national tree shortage may be driving up the cost of your holiday tree this season.

The 2008 recession is likely partially to blame, as it drove growers out of business and it can take eight to 10 years for a tree to be ready for the lot, according to the Miami Herald. USA Today reported a decline of Christmas tree farmers may also be to blame for the tree shortage.

A report from Square and the National Christmas Tree Association revealed Christmas tree prices increased 17 percent from 2015 to 2017, but if you want to save money, it’s better to buy your tree later in December. The average price of a tree is $73, but that amount could drop as low as $47 if you wait to buy your tree on Christmas Eve. You’ll save an average of 22 percent on your tree if you buy it the week leading up to Christmas.

The report says millennials may be saving the Christmas tree business, as the age group tends to be more environmentally conscious and inclined to buy natural, locally sourced goods (including Christmas trees).