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Why are NYC’s Christmas trees so expensive? For starters, blame the 2008 Great Recession.

Ho-ho-horrendous prices for Christmas trees in New York City this year are the result of a problem that’s been festering since the Great Recession, experts say.

The closure of Christmas tree farms across the country due to the 2008 financial crisis has resulted in a tree shortage this year, leading arborists told Gothamist. Trees typically take a decade to grow – meaning the shockwaves of the economic crisis have only been felt in the Christmas tree industry in recent years.

National Christmas Tree Association spokesperson Jill Sidebottom said farmers didn’t plant a lot of trees in 2008 because they didn’t have enough money.

“A lot of those [farms] that were smaller, medium size actually went out of business,” she said.

Several experts interviewed by Gothamist said rumors that the Canadian wildfires were to blame for the high price of trees are not accurate.

On Canal Street, a 6-foot tree was selling for $199 at SoHo Trees. At McCarren Park, the same size was selling for $129 at Greg’s Trees. Gregory “Big Greg” Walsh, the owner of the business, said the price of a 6-foot tree has increased 5% every year for the past six years, exceeding the rate of inflation.

“Prices have gone through the roof again. We were shocked, all of us guys that buy trees like I do, by the trailer-load,” said Walsh, who has lots in Manhattan and Brooklyn. “Long term projections was that the next generation might not buy as many, [but] every person in Williamsburg got a baby and everyone wants a tree.”

The high costs frustrated Babatunde Akowe on Tuesday as he surveyed trees at a lot in the West Village where 6-foot firs were going for $140.

“Working class people should be able to afford to celebrate the holidays with dignity,” said Akowe, 45. “With two young children, we’re making the sacrifice to buy the tree.”

The lasting impact of the Great Recession isn’t the only reason why trees are so expensive in the city, experts said.

The American Christmas Tree Association pointed to local shortages in Long Island, where “extreme heat and drought impacted tree crops and prices,” according to Executive Director Jami Warner.

And the Christmas Tree Farmers Association of New York said the price of Christmas trees is affected by rising costs of transportation, fuel and labor due to inflation.

“Input costs are a key factor. We’re paying more now for freight than we ever have. The cost of production is high. You look at fuel prices, you look at cost of labor, even cost of seedlings to plant in the spring has gone up drastically over the last few years,” Travis Drexler, president of the association said.

Tree sellers in Brooklyn said their suppliers in Canada, North Carolina, Oregon and Washington state are charging more.

Thomas Vaughn, who manages a Christmas tree lot on Macri Triangle park in Williamsburg, said he buys his trees from Canada — and has seen his costs soar.

“This year we’re up 20% due to lack of inventory,” Vaughn said. “The suppliers, the more we buy from them, the more our import tax goes up. So we have to worry about the cost of import tax. Their whole price structure regarding fertilizer, keeping [trees] healthy, that’s all been up, too.”

Both Walsh and Vaughn said the rising prices hadn’t dampened their Christmas spirit.

Walsh, who is typically decked out in red and has a Santa Claus-style beard, said that he is open to giving a discount to people in need.

Staff at his business also make smaller, handmade “trees” out of loose branches superglued together and stuck in a small stump that sell for only a couple bucks.

Vaughn offers similar handcrafted trees for $5 – or a cup of coffee.

“We have our scraps and we want to make everybody in the spirit happy. Some people want a Christmas tree, you know, a Charlie Brown tree,” Vaughn said.

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