O Tannenbaum: Cuts Expected in Christmas Tree Prices This Season

As December approaches, it may be Christmas tree prices that get trimmed instead of the trees themselves, as supply outstrips demand this holiday season.

It takes 5 to 10 years before trees are large enough for the living room, and record-high prices in the early part of this decade persuaded farmers to invest in Christmas trees.

That means many of those plants are reaching maturity at a time when consumers are tight-fisted and enticed away by artificial trees.

As a result, a 7-foot-tall noble fir that sold wholesale for $25-$39 a few years ago will fetch maybe half that this Christmas season.

In Oregon, the top state for Christmas tree production, one farmer is holding out hope the industry will get a late season boost.

Stan Low says he's noticed some retailers have under-ordered toys and are scrambling to get more. Low hopes "maybe the same thing will happen with Christmas trees."