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Will the nationwide Christmas tree shortage affect South Texas? - KZTV10.com | Continuous News Coverage | Corpus Christi

Will the nationwide Christmas tree shortage affect South Texas?

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CORPUS CHRISTI -

The National Christmas Tree Association said last decade's recession is having an impact on this year's harvest of Christmas trees across the country. 

Low sales during the recession may be to blame for this year's Christmas tree shortages. 

Searching for a Christmas tree is a tradition many families participate in ever year. However, this year shoppers might notice some changes - there are less trees to choose from. 

"I don't want people to get scared off. There are a lot of stories out there. Again, it depends on what part of the country you get your trees from, but there will always be live Christmas trees. So don't worry, don't panic, there will always be live Christmas trees for you to purchase," said Bay Area Landscape Nursery owner Trent Hoffman. 

"We have to get one anyway because that is what we do regardless, or unless they are outrageously high, which they don't seem like they are, we are still going to get a real one," said Christmas tree shopper Esther Torres. 

Wholesale prices of trees from the Northwest went up nearly 50 percent this year due to the shortages and transportation costs. Many Christmas tree vendors say they are taking a loss to try to keep prices as low as possible, but consumers will feel the higher costs no matter where they shop. 

"Typically when you have a shortage, you are going to see the unscrupulous growers and unscrupulous retailers that are going to try and raise prices on you," said West Valley Christmas Trees owner Don Crandall. 

So the big question is how does this nationwide situation affect South Texas? 

"In the Corpus Christi area, as far as we can tell, there should be sufficient trees for those people that want to have a live Christmas tree," said Crandall. 

Christmas tree vendors could be dealing with the shortage through 2020. However, the immediate challenge is keeping the trees looking fresh. 

"That is our biggest concern and our biggest challenge here in South Texas - is how to keep Christmas trees looking good with fluctuating temperatures that we have," said Hoffman. 

As a result of the shortage, Christmas trees are more expensive this year. Customers can expect to pay between 10 and 20 percent more for a tree compared to last year.

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