Nursery owners experiencing Christmas tree shortage

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) -- It's the most wonderful time of year at Mattern's Nursery, and for the 42nd season, the place is exploding with shades of red and green.

"Out in the field we have Norway Spruce, Blue Spruce...we have very limited Blue Spruce this year," says owner Sue Mattern.

Mattern says growing Christmas trees takes between 7 and 10 years, and one event 9 years ago is the reason farmers are having trouble keeping their lots full in 2017.

"2008 hit pretty hard. People couldn't plant as much, couldn't afford to, couldn't afford the labor."

She says before the recession, there was an oversupply of trees.
Now, the tree shortage is costing people a little more green for their greenery.

"Our prices have gone up."

But that's not stopping anyone. The hunt is on for Chris and Karen Plantenga. They've been loyal customers for more than 10 years.

"We still like this nice fresh smell," Karen says.

She says over time, they've gotten a little better at picking out the perfect tree.

"No matter what we did, we couldn't get it to stand up straight once it was cut and we put it in the tree stand."

Memories, unlike the trees, that aren't going away anytime soon.