Christmas tree sellers in Stockton this year have had to raise their prices due to transportation expenses, but many people still bought trees, leaving some sellers empty handed before the holidays.

However, buyers this past week could still manage to snag a fresh tree with Casey-Picchi Christmas Trees located at the corner of Thornton Road and Hammer Lane in Stockton and at J&S Flowers located at 1244 N. Wilson Way until Dec. 23.

Casey-Picchi, which has been in business for more than 30 years, is selling 3- to 4-foot-tall tabletop trees, flocked trees that give a “snow-covered” look, and Noble and Douglas fir trees.

According to Joseph Piccardo, who helps owner Paul Picchi run the business, tabletop trees cost approximately $40, a 5- to 6-foot tree can cost about $67 and any trees 13 feet or taller can range from $400 or more.

Tree flocking is when a white dust or powdery texture is applied to the branches to give the illusion that the tree is covered in snow.

Worker Brandon Martinez and owner Paul Picchi unwrap a tree at the Casey-Picchi Christmas tree lot on Hammer Lane and Thornton Road in Stockton on Dec. 8, 2022. Picchi has been selling Christmas trees for 32 years now and moves between 1,600 and 1,800 trees every year. (Photo by Harika Maddala/Bay City News/Catchlight Local)

Piccardo said prices for trees did rise this year by a few dollars because of hauling costs from Oregon, shortage of trees, labor and gas increases.

As of last week, they had sold more than 1,500 trees, said Piccardo.

J&S Flowers manager Andrea Rangel said they also had to price some trees at a higher value this year but were able to keep some costs the same.

Rangel said they planned to begin offering 10 percent off trees soon for customers who still want to make a purchase.

Tabletop trees at the business can cost about $40 depending on if a base is installed for the tree.

Douglas fir trees there can cost $80, while the highest price for a Noble fir would be $160. Tree flocking is an extra cost included, and the biggest trees being sold are 9 to 10 feet tall.

According to Rangel, J&S Flowers has been in business for more than 20 years and some years they have stayed open until Dec. 23.

For anyone wanting to buy artificial trees, Target, Walmart and Michaels are some of the locations where they can be bought for the holidays.

Victoria Franco is a reporter based in Stockton covering San Joaquin County for Bay City News Foundation and its nonprofit news site Local News Matters. She is a Report for America corps member.