LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, N.J. - 'Tis the season to be jolly, unless you're a Christmas tree grower in New Jersey.

The farms are reporting a slight decline in sales as buyers cut back on spending.

Sam Willard of Bear Swamp Tree Farm in Lawrence Township says business has slowed with the economy. The Mercer County resident has been selling trees for 69 years.

Some customers are buying smaller trees. Others are turning to large retail stores, where prices are typically lower.

The state Agriculture Department says New Jersey ranks seventh in the nation for Christmas tree growers. The state estimates they serve 132,000 customers annually.