The American Christmas Tree Association (ACTA) says that 94 million Americans will put up at least one Christmas tree. Some of you may already have yours up, decorated with twinkly lights and shiny ornaments. ACTA Executive Director Jami said in a press release that tree shoppers shouldn't wait until the last minute to get their trees this year, noting,

Every year, we pay close attention to factors impacting the Christmas tree industry so that we can help guide consumers in choosing the right Christmas tree. In 2021, we’re seeing a variety of trends influencing artificial and live Christmas tree supply across the country, and are encouraging consumers to find their tree early this year to avoid shortage impacts.

Most trees in the US are grown in the Pacific Northwest and tree growers were faced with many challenges this season, including drought, excessive heat, and massive forest fires in the region. The ACTA says some Oregon tree farmers reported losing up to 90% of their trees. Artificial tree selection might be lacking this year too, thanks to supply chain issues.

Credit Sasha_Suzi
Credit Sasha_Suzi
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Are you a "real tree" or "fake tree" family?

The convenience of a fake tree is tough to beat. After Christmas, simply shove it back in the box and store it till next year. They don't drop needles, you don't need to water them, and they always fit the tree stand perfectly. On the other hand, there is something special about a real tree and it's tough to duplicate that authentic piney smell with artificial scents. ACTA says the environmental impact of real vs. fake trees is nearly identical.

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Photo by Michael Foth, Townsquare Media
Photo by Michael Foth, Townsquare Media
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Here's where you can purchase a real tree in Billings.

Obviously, the big box stores like Walmart and Home Depot will be selling trees, as will Albertsons. If you prefer to support local charities and church groups, here are some other options:

  • Knights of Columbus at St. Bernard Catholic Church at 226 Wicks Lane
  • Breakfast Optimist Club at Kings Ace Hardware, Zimmerman location
  • Knights of Columbus at St Pius X, 17th and Central
  • Faith Chapel at the corner of Shiloh and Broadwater

When I stopped by St. Bernard today, I immediately smelled the delightful aroma of fresh-cut pine. Tree prices start at $35 for a 3 - 4 foot tree and max out at $125 for a 10 foot or taller tree. Standard-sized 7 foot trees are $65.

You could always do the Griswald thing and cut your own tree south of Red Lodge. Permits for the Custer National Forest are just $5. If we've missed any tree lots, let us know in the comments and we'll add them to our list.

LOOK: The top holiday toys from the year you were born

With the holiday spirit in the air, it’s the perfect time to dive into the history of iconic holiday gifts. Using national toy archives and data curated by The Strong from 1920 to today, Stacker searched for products that caught hold of the public zeitgeist through novelty, innovation, kitsch, quirk, or simply great timing, and then rocketed to success.

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