CHICAGO – Oh Christmas tree! Oh Money tree! You’re going to shell out a lot of green if you plan on buying a real one this year!

It may be a tad bit early to start thinking about Christmas trees, but it looks like you may need that extra time to save up some extra money to buy one.

As you may have guessed, experts predict we’re going to have to pay more for spruce, pine and fir trees this season.

The Real Christmas Tree Board surveyed 55 Wholesale Growers across the country last month and found that even though demand is healthy, 71% of growers plan to hike prices 5% to 15%.

Growers cited supply chain slowdowns, inflation, and rising operating costs as their top concerns for the increase.  

WGN News Now spoke to Tim Stein, owner of Superior Evergreens at 7950 W. Belmont Avenue in Chicago about this year’s prices.

He says people can expect to see a $5 to $10 increases on large trees, 10-feet and above, but probably won’t notice a big change in price for average size trees of 7 to 8 feet.

Stein added that in addition to size, variables such as type and grade can also impact the price.

In a press release, Marsha Gray, Executive Director of the Real Christmas Tree Board said, “Fans of real Christmas trees say they believe the trees are worth the price and they are willing to pay more this year if necessary to get one.”

Experts say there are ways you can save money if having a real Christmas tree is a must for you and your family:

  • Shop at bigger retailers
    • Some experts say Farm owners may not be able to sell trees at lower prices and absorb wholesale costs like some of the bigger home improvement stores, garden centers or retail stores. Buying local and supporting small businesses like local tree farms is wonderful, but it may not save you money in this instance.
  • Think about getting a smaller tree 
    • Shorter trees cost less and varying your type and grade could also save you money.
  • Wait until the week of Christmas
    • You could really save a lot because suppliers will be desperate to get rid of their inventory by then. Of course, your choice of trees may be slim by that point, but they’ll be cheap.