McALLEN — For many, the end of Thanksgiving means time to decorate for Christmas. However, with higher prices and shorter supply, vendors are advising families to shop for real trees early this year.

The owners of Farmer’s Select Christmas Tree Lot in McAllen, Jim and Alicia Conner, attribute the price increase and shortage of trees to labor shortages and fires which broke out on the west coast, where the vendors buy the majority of their trees.

Another contributing factor to the decrease in trees was the extreme heat in Oregon this summer.

The Conners said they ordered their trees early this year to pick out the cream of the crop. Despite thousands of trees ordered, the Conners said they wished they could have brought more down to the Rio Grande Valley.

Workers unwrap Christmas trees for sale near the corner of Nolana Avenue and McColl Road on Friday in McAllen. (Joel Martinez | [email protected])

But with the price to transport trees to the Valley increasing, Alicia said it creates a domino effect on prices. The result, a 20% increase on trees.

Jim said their trees range from $40 to as high as $1,100.

However, the price increase did not seem to discourage Tony Salazar, an Edinburg resident, who said Friday that there is nothing like the smell of a real tree to get the family into the holiday season.

As a grandfather, Salazar said he strives to make Christmas special and authentic for his grandchildren, and that starts with a tree.

“I prefer a real tree because it gives a sense of having something authentic, something real inside the house,” he said. “We did the fake tree a couple of times and it’s not the same.”

The family owned business has been selling Christmas trees for over 20 years at the same lot, near the intersection of Nolana and McColl in McAllen.

Farmer’s Select Christmas Tree Lot will be relocating next year but will remain in the Nolana area.

The lot began selling trees late last week and has already sold thousands. The Conners say they have about 450 trees left and project to sell out within the second week of December.

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View Monitor photojournalist Joel Martinez’s full photo gallery of Christmas trees for sale at Farmer’s Select Christmas Tree Lot in McAllen here:

Photo Gallery: Farmer’s Select Christmas Tree Lot in McAllen