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Nationwide shortage of Christmas trees may result in price hikes

YUKON, Okla. -- A nationwide shortage of Christmas trees may mean a hike in prices.

All Pine Products in Yukon is a 13-acre Christmas tree farm with up to 9,000 trees for customers to pick and choose from. Owner Jean Collins-Holdaway says their most popular tree is the Virginia Pine, which customers choose and saw.

However, Collins-Holdaway says they've had to hike up the price for their trees grown out of state such as Oregon and Michigan. This year, they've ordered 100 less trees.

"We saw a 10% increase in our cost to get them here this year but we try to provide what the customer wants and unfortunately, we pass those costs onto them," she said.

According to Collins-Holdaway, Christmas trees in Oregon can take up to 10 years to grow. During the recession in 2007, less trees were planted. Fast forward a decade, and there are less trees. The average price for a pre-cut tree at her farm starts at $95, while pricier ones can go for $145.

She adds, that's not the only factor behind the price increase.

"Freight prices are up, just your cost of labor…the cost of your chemicals. We spend a lot of money on just the chemicals you use," she told. "We use a sunscreen that put on the Christmas trees to keep them dark green so they look pretty in your house. The cost of that is ridiculous."

In other parts of the country, GWD Forestry attributes natural disasters such as droughts and wildfires to the shortage.

Some customers say pre-cut trees are worth it. Mike Britten says his family normally buys artificial trees but decided to buy a real one.

"Just the smell of them was better than the pine tree. These are cedars, I think, and they smell better," said Britten.

Other families News 4 spoke to say they want the full experience of picking out a tree and cutting it down themselves.

"That`s the biggest thing, having memories," said Josh Caraway. "They`re [kids] older enough that they can start remembering all this stuff."

According to Collins-Holdaway, there are currently about 15 Christmas tree growers in Oklahoma.