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Christmas Tree Shortage Feared As More Shoppers Opt to Buy Real Deal

It's beginning to look a lot like a Christmas tree shortage this year, as experts say a wide variety of reasons may lead to a scarcity in supply this yuletide season.

More people appear to be opting to bring home real trees instead of fake ones, as millennials gravitate toward the apparently more  ecological option.

"Artificial trees are made with petroleum, they last in a landfill for a thousand years," Christian Nicholas, president of the New Jersey Christmas Tree Growers Association, told Inside Edition. "A Christmas tree grows and as it grows it is producing oxygen and it is cleaning and then it gets recycled back into the Earth." 

And as the countdown to Christmas continues to dwindle, prices for the festive firs may rise.

"The later it gets, the more difficult it is going to be to find a good, nice, healthy, fresh tree," Nicholas said.

He noted prospective buyers should expect to pay an extra 15 to 20% this year, he said. 

Higher prices may also be tied to supply, as a full grown Christmas tree can take up to ten years to mature, Nicholas said, noting the financial crisis of 2008 is partly to blame for the scarcity this year.

"Due to the recession there hadn't been a lot of planting and farmers did not clear out their fields, so they skipped about two years in planting, now, here we are, flash forward 10 years later and there is a shortage of trees," he said. 

Other reasons for the shortage include climate change, as weather affects tree growth and forest fires. 

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