HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - It's Dec. 1, so that means it's time to start thinking about where to get a Christmas tree if that holiday staple isn't already set up in your living room.
A national Christmas tree shortage that is also being felt along the Grand Strand means it's important not to procrastinate.
Seyward Sebastian has been selling trees at Goodman's Tree Farm in Murrells Inlet in for 12 years.
This year, however, is different. She said prices are higher and each shipment is more precious for local tree sellers.
Sebastian's straight-from-the-farm trees are expected to run out in mid-December. While she can restock, she said there are others who can't
According to Sebastian, the 2008 recession is to blame for this year's tree shortage.
"Many small farmers got out of it then," she said. "Prices were very low for trees; they weren't bringing in much. Many small farmers did not replant again."
Sebastian added it takes roughly 12 years for a tree to grow 10 feet.
"So even the smaller trees, we're starting to see the effect of farmers not replanting," she said. "So it's created a real shortage of the supply."
Buying late is considered later than Dec. 15.
For the Hendrick family, an early trip from Conway to Murrells Inlet for a real, fresh cut tree is just part of Christmas.
"It's just how I grew up," Andy Hendrick said. "Christmas was always really special at our house. To me, it's what it's supposed to smell like, supposed to look like."