'Tis the season, meaning crunch time for Christmas tree shoppers

By KYW Newsradio

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — With less than a week until Christmas, many people in the region are hunting for that perfect tree to decorate for the holidays.

Tom O'Rourke of Cochranville, Chester County bought a tree about three weeks ago. For some reason, though, it dried out, so he went hunting for one to replace it. He finally found one in Prospect Park, Delaware County, about 40 miles from his home.

"We have a big home and we need a 7-foot or better tree and they are pretty rare," he said. "I mean, smaller trees, yeah, you can have them all day."

O'Rourke paid about $45 dollars for a 7-foot tree. It wasn't exactly what he was looking for, but he said it would do.

Tim O'Connor, executive director of the National Christmas Tree Association, claims there isn't a Christmas tree shortage, though some who wait until late in the season might have to look a little harder.

"Between politics and coronavirus, people are just wanting a nice celebration," he said. "Going out to get a tree is a safe activity outdoors. People aren't traveling so the idea that I didn't get a tree because I was going to someone else's home isn't playing out as much this year."

O'Connor said the live Christmas tree market has tightened over the past five years or so, but there are enough to meet demand.

"26.2 million trees sold last year, and we tended to stay in the ballpark for a very long time. Somewhere between 25 and 30 million trees are selling annually. Nobody is going home without a tree."

According to the NCTA, the average Christmas tree takes 7-10 years to grow.