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Christmas tree prices remain high amid low supply

On average, consumers paid $78 for a tree in 2018, up $3 from 2017.
Credit: AP
In this November 2018 photo, Felipe Delgado, an employee at Silver Bells Tree Farm in Silverton, Ore., loads Christmas trees onto a conveyor belt and into a semi-trailer for transport to Los Angeles and San Diego, where they will be sold at tree lots. Christmas tree farmers nationwide are paying a fee to the Christmas Tree Promotion Board for each tree harvested to fund a social media ad campaign aimed at convincing young families to buy real trees instead of artificial ones. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus)

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Experts in Oregon, the nation’s No. 1 supplier of Christmas trees, say prices for a holiday evergreen will remain higher this year due to a tight supply.

Chad Landgren, with Oregon State University’s College of Forestry, says there are 400 fewer Oregon growers than there were 15 years ago and land once used for Christmas trees is now being used for less labor intensive crops. Many tree farms went out of business about a decade ago.

On average, consumers paid $78 for a tree in 2018, up $3 from 2017.

There are 383 licensed Christmas tree growers in Oregon who sell about 4.6 million trees a year.

Most of those trees are sold in the Pacific Northwest, California, Nevada and Arizona.

Mexico is the top international importer of Oregon trees.