Tommy Speer helps a customer pick out a Christmas tree at Speer Family Farms in Alameda, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Demand for Christmas trees plummeted during the recession 10 years ago, so tree growers scaled back planting. Tree demand bounced back, but supply didn't.

Why it matters: Buyers are paying more for trees due to the shortage. According to the National Christmas Tree Association, the average price of a tree was $36 in 2008. The price spiked to $78 in 2018.

  • The average Christmas tree takes seven years to grow to a typical height, per the association, though some varieties can take up to 15 years. Fraser firs, a popular variety for Christmas trees, take about 10 years to mature.

The big picture: Drought conditions have also made growing more difficult. "We lose quite a few there because they dry out and die," Richard Kreh, who grows and sells Christmas trees in Stuart, Virginia, told ABC-13 WSET.

Yes, but: Despite the higher prices, business is booming as shoppers scrambled to find a tree this year.

  • The shortage is expected to be short-lived. Ronnie Richardson of Whitetop, Virginia, told the Bristol Herald-Courier. "The supply will be back in just a few years."

Go deeper: Tight supply is driving a rise in Christmas tree prices

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Geoffrey Berman. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The House Judiciary Committee on Monday released the transcript of its closed-door interview with Geoffrey Berman, the former top federal prosecutor in Manhattan who was forced out by Attorney General Bill Barr last month.

Why it matters: House Democrats have seized on Berman's testimony, in which he claimed the attorney general sought to "entice" him into resigning so that he could be replaced by SEC chairman Jay Clayton, to bolster allegations that the Justice Department has been politicized under Barr.