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Wilkerson Christmas Tree Farm in Griffithsville, W.Va., is home to many different types of evergreens shown here Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2005, in Lincoln County. (AP Photo/Jeff Gentner)

There's a shortage of Christmas trees this year, a problem that's been a decade in the making



ROANOKE, Va. (CIRCA via WSET) - While millions of Christmas trees will be sold this holiday season, there's still a shortage across the country.

A 9-acre farm in Roanoke, Virginia, has been in John Hamill's family since the 1970s.

He says the Christmas tree business fluctuates, but the reason for this shortage goes back to 2008 -- and he could see it coming.

Hamill says timing is everything in the Christmas tree business.

"A fir takes 10 to 12 years to grow," he said.

That timing has everything to do with why there is a lack of trees this year. The recession hit a decade ago, which drove many growers out of business. Now, they are seeing the results, as there is a tight supply of trees.

Hamill says this is a constant issue in this business. If growers have a good season, they plant more, meaning there can be a glut of trees 10 to 12 years down the road.

He says it's cyclical, but he's prepared and isn't worried about running out of trees.

Also unfazed by a Christmas tree shortage are Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus.

On Monday, they were out finding the perfect tree to get into the holiday spirit.

"Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night," Santa said.

He says the reindeer weren't quite ready, so the jolly couple used their alternate sleigh to bring their new tree home.

There's a shortage of Christmas trees this year, a problem that's been a decade in the making

While Hamill says he isn't worried about running out of trees, his farm may run out of the most popular types and sizes.

So, it's probably a good idea to start looking for that perfect tree!

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