Oh Christmas Tree Prices, Oh Christmas Tree Prices!

Oh Christmas tree prices!

Tight supplies are raising the price of real Christmas trees – but so far that hasn’t put a dent in demand. The National Christmas Tree Association, a trade group that represents more than 700 tree farms, says U.S. sales of real trees jumped 21% last year as more millennial families bought them. That outpaced sales of fake trees.

The average real tree cost $78 in 2018. That’s more than double what it cost in 2013. The recession is one reason for the price hike. Struggling farmers planted fewer trees in 2009 because demand was down. Since Christmas trees take eight to 10 years to mature, that smaller crop is available now. Weather has also hurt supplies.

Recent hot summers in Oregon killed some trees, for example. Supplies of real trees should start rising over the next two to three years, the association says. But in the meantime, the price increases are a good thing for farmers, who didn’t see tree prices grow much between 2000 and 2015, says Doug Hundley, a spokesman for the association. “It’s helped make the industry more profitable and hopefully more sustainable,” Hundley said.