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Christmas tree prices in North Carolina expected to be about the same as last year

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With Thanksgiving over, many North Carolinians are heading out to purchase Christmas trees at farms and tree lots, and prices are expected to be about the same or slightly higher than last year.

About half of farmers surveyed by the grower-funded Real Christmas Tree Board expect to raise prices by less than 5 percent this year. About a quarter expect no price increase. That's even though many farmers, including in the North Carolina mountains, have seen modest increases in the cost of fuel, fertilizer and labor, and special challenges from weather.

Jill Sidebottom is with the National Christmas Tree Association.

"It’s been dry as you well know," she said, "There’s a lot of fires and things going on now. There’s been some drought conditions."

She said most Christmas tree farms, including in North Carolina, were untouched by recent wildfires in the mountains, and while the drought poses a threat to younger seedlings, it's less of a concern for established trees.

Consumers should expect prices similar to last year, when the median cost of a Christmas tree was $80.