You might want to buy your Christmas tree earlier than usual this year; experts say there won’t be enough for everyone this holiday season.

However, unlike other shortages the have occurred in the past year or two, the unavailability of Christmas trees has nothing to do with the pandemic, a shortage of workers or supply chain issues; it’s because of a recession that occurred way back in 2008, growers say. A number of tree farms have shut down since then, and because Christmas trees take about six years to grow, the industry is just now feeling the impact.

“The big trees, the ones over eight feet, are the ones that are going to be extremely difficult to find,” says the owner of one Missouri tree farm.

“Right now, about 60 percent of the trees are already reserved.” The owner of another tree farm predicts Christmas trees will be completely sold out by Thanksgiving.

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