SHERMAN OAKS (CBSLA) —   The National Christmas Tree Association says there are fewer trees out there to decorate.

A Christmas tree shortage?!

KCAL9’s Jeff Nguyen spoke to consumers who are wondering why they are paying more this year.

Kristina Uban and Justin Shepard bought their Christmas tree tonight -the night after Thanksgiving. They’re expecting a baby and decided to buy the tree as soon as possible.

And this holiday season – they noticed a bump in what they got for what they paid.

“It was higher than I was expecting. And we paid about the same for a bigger tree last year,” said Uban.

The National Christmas Tree Association said fewer trees were planted — in anticipation of lower demand. But someone miscalculated.

It takes trees about 10 years to grow – which is why we’re seeing fewer mature trees now.

Tina Callas is the owner of Tina’s Trees in Sherman Oaks.

She says her costs have gone up by at least 15 percent – which is the biggest jump she’s seen in more than 40 years of being in business.

“This year there was an increase in price from the growers so we made a slight increase to accommodate that. In addition – the trucking went up a little due to increased gas prices,” Callas said.

Imren Salim and her boyfriend say they faced a bit of sticker shock with their tree.

“Our budget was $90 and then we ended up spending about $120 – a little more expensive this year,” said Salim.

But for  Uban and Shepard – getting a live tree – is a holiday tradition that they want to pass on to their 2-year-old son and the baby that’s set to arrive any day now.

“There’s not really a cost that we wouldn’t pay to have that for them,” said Shepard.

Experts expect the price of trees to go back to regular levels as soon as 2020.

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