Nationwide Christmas tree shortage driving up prices

DENVER (KMGH/CNN) - America is dealing with a Christmas tree shortage, and prices for trees are rising.

Some tree salesmen and tree farm owners concerned it could put them out of business.

"A month ago, I found out I had no trees when I called my farmers. They said we don't have trees for you," said Pete Elliot, owner of Tree Land Christmas Trees. "I've done this since I was a little kid. It's a family business. I've never not had trees going into my season," Elliot said.

Justin Sanchez, owner of a tree farm, said he's facing a pretty big shortage and is cutting back on the number of tree lots.

"We couldn't get enough trees this year to cover our other two lots," he said.

The problem started back in 2008 when the stock market burst. Back then, farmers had too many trees, and they weren't making enough money.

"They couldn't get rid of their trees, they couldn't sell them so they came in and just plowed and just burn mountainsides of them," Elliot said.

It takes 10 years to grow a tree, and now there just aren't enough to go around. Elliott finally found some trees but it hit him where it hurt.

"She sent me their prices, I was flabbergasted. Woah, I might have to get out of this business. I just might have to end a tradition," Elliot said.

A tradition his father started more than 50 years ago, that he hopes will help customers coming back.

"I think it just makes the nostalgia of Christmas a little sweeter," said customer Marci Holstege.

Copyright 2017 KMGH, Pete Elliot, via CNN. All rights reserved.