If you haven't already grabbed a Christmas tree, you should probably head into your nearest store sooner rather than later. In fact, it's been reported that it might be harder to get a tree this year than it has been in the past. A Christmas Tree shortage in Ontario has led to stores worrying about running out of trees well before the holidays.
One of the main factors for the shortage is the lack of trees that were planted a decade ago.
Fir trees actually need 10 years to grow but the winter in 2008-2009 was extra harsh, according to Global News and buyers are starting to feel the consequences.
Not only that, but farmers have also stated that the 2008-2009 recession had an impact on trees.
"It takes 10 years to grow a Christmas tree, and if you looked back 10 years ago, there was a recession across North America, which prevented people from planting trees," James Somerville, Xmas Tree Farmers of Ontario president told CTV News.
The industry has also been growing and seeing higher demand, which wasn't expected when trees were being planted 10 years ago.
The sale of Christmas trees in Canada has gone up 20% in the past five years, according to Shirley Brennan, executive director of Christmas Tree Farmers of Ontario.
She explained to Global News that their “sales have been increasing about 20% over the last five years, each year.”
CTV News reports that in 2009, the market for real Christmas trees was worth around $58 million. Just last year, however, it skyrocketed to $114 million.
This, along with environmental factors, is the main reason there is such a shortage all these years later.
If you want a real tree for Christmas, many tree farmers are warning Ontarians to get their tree earlier than usual.
"One of the things I’m telling people is, go get your tree early, and then you don’t necessarily have to put it up," said Brennan.
"Just get it early and that way you’re not disappointed."
If anything, people might have to opt for spruce or pine trees instead of firs this year.
Ontario isn't the only province experiencing the shortage. Alberta is also going through the same issue, according to the Calgary Herald.