Nuns Embezzled Funds From South Bay Catholic School to Pay for Gambling Trips to Las Vegas, Officials Say

Christmas Tree Prices Rise Again as California Growers Move to Planting More Lucrative Crops

Sherri Marquez and her husband, John, shop for a Christmas tree at Todd's Christmas Trees in Long Beach on Nov. 29. (Credit: Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

Sherri Marquez and her husband, John, shop for a Christmas tree at Todd's Christmas Trees in Long Beach on Nov. 29. (Credit: Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

Strolling among rows of Douglas and noble firs searching for the perfect Christmas tree at the YMCA lot in South Pasadena has been a holiday tradition spanning generations of San Gabriel Valley families.

But this year, for the first time in five decades, the South Pasadena-San Marino YMCA will not be selling trees as a holiday fundraiser after the organization was unable to find a supplier with enough high-quality stock.

“We have families that I know this year are going to come to us and be disappointed,” Executive Director Rick Politte said.

The Christmas tree industry took a turn a decade ago when the Great Recession hit and growers started planting fewer trees. For California, the problem has been exacerbated as growers in the Pacific Northwest — where most of California’s Christmas trees are grown — moved away from planting pines in favor of more lucrative crops like hazelnuts and, in some cases, marijuana.

Read the full story on LATimes.com