EDMONTON -- The demand for real Christmas trees is up this year. Some retailers say there's a supply shortage, and the trees they have managed to bring in are going fast.

Jenn Galliford is on the hunt for the perfect tree.

“Wanted to wait until December so that the tree might still be alive at Christmas, but yeah it’s a good year to have a tree nice and early.”

She’s not the only one buying early.

“We just love the smell in the house and it’s just the tradition of it I guess,” said Jordan Levins, who’s also shopping for a tree.

In just a few days, Ellerslie Gift & Garden has sold a third of its 700 trees.

“People want to get in, they know that there’s a shortage because it did start last year, so they’re wanting to get a jump on it, not to delay,” said GM Cinda Thorne.

She says the shortage is a result of environmental factors and the recession in 2008.

“Trees are farmed, so farmers are trying to speculate ahead, because it takes eight to 10 years before trees can be harvested as a Christmas tree.”

Some retailers are almost sold out, but supply isn't an issue at the IKEA tree lot. They work with a tree farmer in Nova Scotia, and bring in almost 3,000 real trees.

“We know the amount of trees that we get every year, so we never have that shortage per say, we plan it years in advance,” said Ed Rifo of IKEA.

IKEA actually brought in an additional 1,200 trees this year because of COVID-19 closures in other provinces.

“It impacted the Winnipeg store in Manitoba, as such we were the recipients of their Christmas trees.”

He says there are a lot of first time buyers this year, likely because of the pandemic. Galliford buys one every year but says this year it will feel a little more special.

“It’s nice to have like fresh and green, and smells good, and lights, and it’s just nice. Find that little bit of joy this year.” 

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Amanda Anderson.