By Robbie Owens

DALLAS (CBS11) – The still frozen turkey is no longer top of mind for some North Texans. They’re moving on to the search for the perfect Christmas tree!

“It’s a tradition to put up the Christmas tree on Thanksgiving Day,” says Natalia Kosich in Dallas. “So we have all of the time to enjoy it!”

But, it wasn’t just tradition that brought Kosich to her favorite Lake Highlands area Christmas tree lot. She’d also heard that supplies were sharply down in some areas, prompting worries of a shortage.

“So, that’s another reason that prompted me to come,” admits Kosich. And when asked if she was trying to get first dibs, “You better believe it,” she added with a laugh.

Dallas Christmas tree lot (CBS11)

John Patton’s lot at the corner of Garland Road and Buckner isn’t officially open for business until Friday. But, he says some customers like to arrive early and he’s glad to accommodate, even as they work to get the fresh cut trees in water.

While it may look like these fir tree forests pop up overnight, in reality, he says the preparation, work and worry begins months in advance. Especially this year.

“Oh, absolutely…yeah, I was definitely worried about it,” says Patton who has operated his tree lot at the busy corner for the past nine years. “I mean, we start planning for this stuff back in June.”

Patton says 80 percent of his business comes from repeat customers, so he needs to be able to deliver on his part of those family traditions.

“Speaking to my grower, he said, ‘John, I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to give you your entire order this year, so you might start looking around’,” Patton recalls. He says when he did, he knew that this season would be a challenge. “All the growers are saying, ‘man, we’re shorter than usual’.”

Everything from drought to wildfires to the 2008 recession has been blamed. And Patton says there are definitely fewer growers now to fill the demand. But, fortunately Patton’s hard work and connections paid off.

“We were able to get our entire supply that we needed,” says Patton. “[We] just had to work harder for it.”

And that’s a good thing for customers like Kosich.

“Love the smell of them,” says Kosich. “[It] just puts you in the spirit– and we need it!”