Why Real Christmas Trees Will Cost More This Holiday Season

Don't worry, there's not a shortage of trees.

It's almost the most wonderful time of the year; with that, people are already planning what weekend to harvest their Christmas tree and how they're going to decorate it

But before you go, experts have warned that you should expect to pay more for your pick of fir, pine, or spruce tree this year than you may have previously. 

In August, the industry group Real Christmas Tree Board surveyed 55 wholesale growers of Christmas trees from all regions of the United States—accounting for about two-thirds of the nationwide supply. 

The company discovered that most of the nation's Christmas tree farms (71 percent) had predicted a wholesale price increase of its Christmas trees by five to 15 percent compared to last year, and some others cited increases as high as 20 percent.

When asked to explain the rising costs, the growers described a scene consumers know all too well: rising inflation, supply chain issues, and the ever-changing habits of shoppers. 

Farmers' number one concern was freight/shipping/logistics/supply chain slowdowns; the second-place concern was, not surprisingly, the impact of inflation on consumer spending; the third was labor availability and cost; too little supply ranked fourth; weather conditions ranked fifth; and least concerning of all was too much supply, with more than half ranking it sixth. 

“While our grower survey tells us wholesale prices are likely to be higher for real Christmas trees this year, our consumer survey tells us people expected as much,” said the Real Christmas Tree Board executive director, Marsha Gray, in a press release. “This is essentially a year without surprises.”

Gray continued: “The good news is fans of real Christmas trees say they believe the trees are worth the price and they are willing to pay more this year if necessary to get one–and that’s not a surprise either.” 

While full consumer survey results won't be released until later this month, the Real Christmas Tree Board is expecting 2022 to look a lot like 2021–which isn't inherently bad. 

According to Gray, "The real Christmas tree industry met demand last year and it will meet demand this year." 

“Our annual consumer survey showed that 86 percent of real Christmas tree buyers said they had no problems finding a place nearby to buy their tree last year,” said Gray. “87 percent told us they found the tree they wanted at the first place they looked."

So while the supply of Christmas trees may not be the problem, their rising prices may be outgrowing some households' budgets, in which case, artificial trees pose a sap-free option that will pay off in the coming seasons. 

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