ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – If you’re looking for a Christmas tree this year expect to pay more. Nationwide, shoppers are seeing higher prices and the price-hike is being felt in Albuquerque.
For many, getting a real tree for Christmas is its own gift. “The smell, the feel, there’s nothing like a real tree in your house, nothing,” said Cecilia Sedillo, who lives in Albuquerque.
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“I like the smell of the fresh tree and I like the process of walking around the lot and discussing the various pros and cons of the different shapes and their perfections and imperfections,” said Lydia Wallace, another Albuquerque resident.
But this year, the real greenery is costing a little more green. “I notice it’s like way more expensive than it was last year or compared to last year’s prices,” said Adam Chavez, who lives on the San Felipe Pueblo and was in town to tree shop.
“Every tree lot we’ve been to, they’re expensive,” said Sedillo.
Shoppers say they see the high prices at the big box stores and at local lots. Dave’s Evergreens said his prices are higher this year because the price he bought the trees had increased. At Mora Christmas trees, an employee said bark-eating beetles and drought conditions impacted their prices.
The price-hike is also being felt beyond New Mexico. The American Christmas Tree Association said nationwide, extreme weather, supply chain issues, and shipping container shortages are to blame, leading to lower supply and higher prices. “The way the prices are this year, it’s ok. I’ll stick with my artificial tree for now, until I can find a tree that I can get at my price,” Sedillo said.
There is also a price increase for fake trees. A recent USDA report shows artificial Christmas tree retailers have reported raising prices 20-30% this season. That same report said the cost for real Christmas trees have nearly doubled since 2015.