Shortage drives up Christmas tree prices

- Tom Gilmartin and his family come from Alaska to Manhattan every winter to sell Christmas trees in Chelsea. It's been their tradition for 21 years.

They sleep in their RV, take showers at a nearby hostel and sell Fraser and Balsam firs on the corner of 22nd Street and 9th Avenue. The Gilmartins spend more than 30 days here each holiday season, but this year it's been more of a struggle. About half their trees now come from Canada and they've had to raise prices.

"There's a shortage of American trees on the market. Right now our trees go for $20 a foot. 10 years ago it was $15 a foot. 15 years ago it was $6 dollars a foot," said Gilmartin.

Over in Williamsburg, Christmas tree sellers tell us they're also seeing a shortage of trees. We visited a business called Christmas Tree Brooklyn, where the owners had to raise their prices to $18 a foot this year. Last year it was $15 a foot.

"There's a shortage this year because factory farms are kind of putting the smaller guys out of business and they just don't have enough supplies to match the demand," said Dan Sevigny, owner of Christmas Tree Brooklyn. 

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