There's troubling news with the holiday season around the corner -- Christmas trees are in short supply.
"The demand of Christmas trees is far in excess of the number of trees being currently produced in the market," said Perry Grobe, owner of Grobe Nursery and Garden Centre in Breslau.
This isn't the first time the problem has been raised ahead of the holidays.
But, Grobe said his nursery and garden centre has not been able to find as many trees as usual this year.
"Some of it has to do with weather conditions. Some of it has to do with the US market taking so many Canadian trees that are being paid in US dollars for that their growers opt to take. Some has to do with some of the higher demand trees, like Fraser fir -- the numbers of those trees aren't being produced in the quantities to fill the need," he said.
For consumers, the answer isn't to run out as soon as possible to buy a tree, Grobe said it's important to plan ahead because not all trees last for the same amount of time.
"Some trees cannot be put up quite this early. Some have to be put up closer to Christmas," he said.
That means consumers looking for a real tree will need to make sure the type of tree they want is actually available within the time frame they want.
"For those folks that want to make sure that they have a tree that is secured for them ... we have for years offered a tree storage service, where folks can buy the tree and we will store it for them until the time that they're ready to put them up in the house. We've done that a long time," Grobe said.
"We believe this year it'll be ever more popular."
Consumers can also store trees ahead of time in a cool place, such as a garage.
But, once the tree is brought into a warm home around Christmas, Grobe suggests taking steps to care for it:
"There has to be a fresh cut on the bottom of the tree to allow moisture to be brought up into the tree itself, but absolutely, it's recommended to put a tree preservative in the basin or in the reservoir that you have to stand in, in order to prevent that tree from drying out too quickly and to keep it as fresh for as long as possible."
Grobe does not expect Christmas tree supply to stabilize for nearly a decade.