After panic-buying yeast and toilet paper this past spring, Americans have found something new to soothe their pandemic stress. Real Christmas trees are selling fast around the country, Thrillist reports. If you're looking for an evergreen to cheer up your quarantine space this holiday season, the time to get one is now.

The Christmas tree industry was already facing pressure prior to COVID-19. During the recession of the late 2000s, farmers planted fewer trees than usual as a cost-saving measure. Christmas trees generally take about a decade to grow to full size, so buyers began seeing the impact of that decision in recent years. By 2019, a limited supply had driven the average tree price up to $77.

In 2020, there's another factor affecting the Christmas tree market. More people are spending the holidays at home this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and after a challenging 2020, many are eager to embrace a happy tradition. According to the National Christmas Tree Association, farms received "unprecedented levels" of inquiries this fall from customers asking when they would open.

With people buying Christmas trees earlier this year and a significant portion buying them for the first time, you shouldn't wait to get yours. While sellers don't expect a true shortage, finding a tree at the right size and price will get harder the longer you wait. Here are some eco-friendly ways to dispose of your tree when the holidays are over.

[h/t Thrillist]