HOUSTON - Many families are already shopping for Christmas trees ahead of this holiday weekend. Trees will be harder to find and more expensive.
Christmas tree vendors say they have fewer trees due to extreme weather and supply chain disruptions.
"I like medium and smell good," said Lilly Garza, while tree shopping with her family.
Families are flocking for Christmas trees this year.
"I said, Mom, Dad, come on! We have to go get the tree," said son Alex Garza.
As families can finally gather, they want to gather around a Grand Fir.
"Seems like everything's in short supply, so we rushed over here. It looks like we've been late to a couple of nice trees," said father Leo Garza.
"We just heard from the guy here, they said they have three types. They usually have many more," said mother Baleh Garza.
Derrick's Christmas Trees in Deer Park, a 30-year-old family business, says he scoured the Northwest to order enough trees for his customers but says some are still missing.
"Our primary shortage is anything above 11 foot. 13, 14, just couldn't get them this year," said owner Derrick Norris.
"This is the fifth time we've come because we're waiting for a big tree," said Maria Guillen with her family.
Vendors say it's been a struggle to stock up.
"Extreme heat in the Pacific Northwest killed a lot of trees, but also just a shortage of trees overall. We've had a challenge in getting trees, trucking has also been a challenge," said Norris.
"We know there are a lot of logistics delays with tall, the shipments and stuff, so just getting out here early," said shopper Adam Petersen.
Analysts expect prices to be up from 5% to 30% and encourage shoppers to buy early.
"Most tree lots that have anything will be out by mid-December. So if you really want one, I suggest you come way before the mid-December time," said Norris.
"We just want to make sure this Christmas tradition stays with our family, especially the little kids," said Baleh Garza.
Shipping delays are also impacting the availability of artificial Christmas trees. The American Christmas Tree Association says the average cost was $104 in 2019 but will be about $131 this year.