Valley Christmas tree farms facing shortage for holiday season

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Christmas tree in your front room might cost a little extra this holiday season.

Winter comes through a hose in southeast Fresno on one of the lush green lots filled with firs all over the Central Valley. And this weekend, families are moving a step closer in their Christmas preparations.

"One of the most important things is to find that perfect tree which we hope we have here for them," Bonnie Simonian with Simonian Farms said.

If perfect means short, tall or flocked, chances are you'll find them on lots like Simonian Farms or Sid's Christmas Trees. But there's also a decent chance you'll be paying a little extra this year.

"Right now we're in a tree shortage," Sid Boolootian with Sid's Christmas Trees said. "Probably one of the worst ones I've ever seen in the 38 years I've been in business."

"That is very true this year and it'll also be felt very much next year and because of supply and demand it'll drive the prices up a bit," Simonian said.

A lot of California Christmas trees come from Oregon and Washington and about 10 years ago a lot of them stopped growing Christmas trees when prices were low.

Some growers say the real hit will come next year. But even with small price increases, trees are leaving the lot pretty quickly. And if you wait too long, you might not even get one.

"This year, we'll probably be out of here by the 15th, 16th at the rate we're going," Boolootian explained. "If you look at the lot out there, we're bare because we're waiting for the next truck which is tomorrow and that's the last one for the season."

Keeping your tree fresh for the next few weeks means keeping it watered, but growers say if your's gets a little dry, you can cut off a couple inches from the base and you'll have another shot at a beautiful tree for the season.
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