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Here's why you can expect to pay a little more for your Christmas tree this year

It doesn't matter if you're looking to cut your own tree or buy an artificial one, expect to pay a little more than usual, tree farmers say.

Holiday traditions may be changing for millions of Americans as yet another staple has fallen victim to the supply shortage — Christmas trees.  

The tree crop is smaller than usual this year at tree farms across the nation.

Brian Keeton is a Christmas tree farmer. He said hot summers, drought and then flooding rains in recent years have stunted their rows of fir trees. 

"We're a little thin, we have fewer than what we would like," said Keeton.

Keeton also brings in pre-cut live trees from Oregon, Michigan and Wisconsin but said the same trucking issues hitting grocery stores are cutting those supplies too. 

"With the precut trees, there is a national shortage. So there are fewer quantity of trees, with higher demand, and then the shipping issues are complicating it a little more," Keeton said.

RELATED: Christmas tree price shock expected this year, for both live and artificial trees

Tree farmers said it doesn't matter if you're looking to cut your own tree or pre-cut, you're probably going to face higher prices. 

"So they have been definitely been going up the past 3 years, and this year is higher than ever before," said Keeton.

Keeton said the days of $25 live trees are gone. Expect to pay $50 or more for a nice 6-foot tree. 

You can buy an artificial tree, but Balsam Hill, a top seller, warns those prices are up 20 percent this year. 

RELATED: Shipping crisis leading to shortage of artificial Christmas trees, decorations

Keeton's advice — don't try to find the perfect live tree. Even if it looks like Charlie Brown's tree, decorating will hide most imperfections. 

"You can put a larger ornament there," said Keeton. "I haven't seen an ugly decorated tree yet."

If the prices are too high, buy a smaller tree and place it on a table, so you don't waste your money.

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