Christmas tree shortage has more people picking plastic

Christmas tree shortage has more people picking plastic

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The holiday season is here, and so is the search for the perfect Christmas tree.

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But farms are still recovering from a nationwide Christmas tree shortage, and it's leading to more people buying plastic trees.

At North Pole Christmas Trees in Juno Beach, you’ll find a one stop shop for everything merry and bright.

"Everything you need for Christmas," said owner Edward Yanchitis.

For Yanchitis, the seasonal business is his kind of business.

"I’ve been doing it for 38 years," said Yanchitis.

When the financial crisis hit more than a decade ago, it impacted his bottom line.

"The economy really hurt these farmers throughout, and burned thousands and thousands of trees in 06, 07, 08," said Yanchitis. "So they had no money to plant. and we’re just feeling it now."

That led to Yanchitis ordering trees from as far away as Quebec and Oregon.

"Last year at the 18th of December, I was the only guy with Christmas trees within 50 miles," said Yanchitis.

The tree shortage has more people picking plastic.

According to the National Christmas Tree Organization, from 2004 to 2017, the number of plastic trees purchased more than doubled. That, in turn, could leave behind a larger carbon footprint and more industrial emissions, according to Carbon Trust, a U.K.-based company that helps other companies reduce carbon emissions.

But even if a real tree is not recycled and ends up in a landfill when it’s decomposing, it can produce a methane gas more powerful than greenhouse gas emissions.

However, Yanchitis isn’t worried that his business will slow down.

"I think the plastic has peaked," said Yanchitis.

And his customers are sticking with the real thing.

"I love the smell of them and just the whole look of them," one customer said on Tuesday.

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