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Low supply of Christmas trees in the North Carolina mountains

ALLEGHANY COUNTY, N.C. -- It may be hard to find the perfect Christmas tree this year. That's because the supply is low, real low.

"When the economic downfall happen it hit the tree business just like real estate," said Billy Edwards, who has been growing Christmas trees for more than 40 years. "To understand the shortage now you have to go back 10-12 years."

That's when the economy took a dip and for a couple of years many farmers did not plant tree seedlings. If growers had planted trees they would be ready this year.

"For the next five to 10 years there will be shortages," Edwards said.

Many choose and cut farms are not planning to open this year.

Reeves Ridge Christmas Trees told its customers on Facebook that it's closed this season due to an increase in business in recent years depleting their supply but they do have new crops growing.

Edwards has thousands of trees ready for this year but with overflow customers on top of his regular customers, he fears his supply may dwindle fast.

"I really don't know what to expect with the other tree customers," Edwards said.

It takes the average Christmas tree, 6 to 8 feet tall, around seven to nine years to grow.

If your family tradition is to choose and cut your own tree, you may want to call ahead to make sure your favorite farm is open.

"It will eventually work out to where we will have enough trees," Edwards said. "It will take a while."

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