Christmas Tree Far
A worker drags a cut-down fir tree at a Christmas tree farm, Nov. 24, 2014. Getty

With the conclusion of Thanksgiving, it’s about time when Christmas decorations start appearing. But the longer you wait to buy a real Christmas tree the higher your chances are that you might not get one, or that you’ll have a particularly small and pricey selection to choose from. This is due to the fact that there’s a bit of a shortage of the typical trees this year.

There’s a nationwide Christmas tree shortage according to the National Christmas Tree Association, the Tampa Bay Times reported. The reason for the shortage goes back a decade, to the recession that hit the United States economy in 2007 and devastated the financial situation of millions, as well as Christmas tree sales.

Fewer people than usual bought trees that year and farmers planted fewer trees as well because they had harvested less, meaning this year as those trees that were planted during the 2007-2008 year mature, there’s a shortage. In the last decade or so the economy has rebounded and with the demand for trees back, some sellers are worried about the availability.

It costs more for sellers to buy the trees from growers this year, because the supply is more limited. So they’re faced with the decision of either upping the prices they charge their customers, or making less per tree than they usually do.

One seller in Florida told the Tampa Bay Times that although he was paying 15 percent more for his trees, he was only charging customers five percent more than usual. He also said that he’s confident that customers will be able to find trees as long as they look early.

How to make sure you get a real Christmas tree during the shortage:

Call the farm or the seller you usually purchase your tree from and ask them how their stock is, they’ll be the best judge of how their supply stacks up with the demand. If you usually procrastinate getting a tree, consider getting one a bit earlier this year. The first week or two in December will be a good time. Most trees, if adequately watered, last about a month before they begin to lose needles. If you buy a precut tree, ask when it was harvested and factor that time into the month or so you can expect the tree to last.

The NCTA has a website that shows Christmas tree sellers across the country to help those looking for a retailer with trees. There are also filters that users can apply so that they can look at specifically cut-your-own farms, pre-cut trees, and other options some sellers might offer. Of course there are other sellers than those included in the map as well.