Possible reasons behind this year's Christmas tree shortage - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Possible reasons behind this year's Christmas tree shortage

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YAKIMA, WA - This Christmas, as people rush to get everything they need for the holiday, one Christmas staple may be harder to find than others: The classic Christmas tree.

A Christmas tree shortage has affected holiday-goers across the country, and even in the place you'd least expect...the northwest. 

Growers speculate many reasons: from a warmer climate leading to fungus which causes rotting, to simply a higher demand each year.

Whatever the reason, local farmer and tree-seller Scott McIlrath says tree searchers are coming to his market from all over the northwest and even further out because they can't find reasonably priced or good quality trees in their areas.

"Trees that we're selling for 45, that they're paying 200, 150 over there," he says.

He also says that within the first two weeks of December, McIlrath Family Farm Market had already sold out of over three quarters of its tree supply.

McIlrath believes another reason for the shortage could be a current trend, causing more and more people to forego buying artificial trees this year.

"They miss the smell, and they feel like it's more Christmas-y to have a real, live Christmas tree," says McIlrath.

He says that if you do find a Christmas tree you want to buy, be sure its needles aren't falling off easily, because the quality of many trees has also declined this year.