POLK COUNTY, Iowa — Many Iowans spent their holiday weekend shopping for gifts. They also spent it shopping for that special tree to put their gifts under. However, people who haven’t bought their Christmas tree yet may need to do it quickly before local tree farms run out of inventory.

Jill Miller Brady, the manager at Miller Tree Farm just outside of Pleasant Hill, said trees sold out quickly last year. By Sunday afternoon, the farm had already sold about half of this year’s inventory.

She said people should probably get their tree by the end of the first weekend in December to be safe. She added Christmas trees are selling out quicker than before since there’s a nationwide shortage. There are also fewer Christmas tree farms in the Metro than there were in previous years.

Miller Brady said it also takes between seven and 15 years to grow a Christmas tree, that means tree farmers planned for this year’s inventory about a decade ago.

“You have to be thinking what’s going to happen 10 years from now,” she said. “So if 10 years ago, you didn’t plant enough trees, and in the United States, they didn’t plant enough trees, then now in probably the next 5 years they’ll be more short.”

Miller Brady said people who aren’t ready to put up their tree until closer to Christmas should buy it and leave it in a bucket of water in their garage. That way they can secure their special tree before it’s gone.