If you’re planning to purchase a real Christmas tree this year, the supply is available and prices will be relatively the same as last year. That’s according to the Real Christmas Tree Board (RCTB), which is a national research and promotion program for fresh Christmas trees overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The majority of wholesale tree growers told the board their input costs, which include things like fertilizer and labor, have gone up 10% since last year. But that’s less of an increase than the growers reported last year, RCTB said.
Only 25% of the tree growers told RCTB they plan to increase the wholesale price of their trees this year, and half of them said the increase would be less than 5%. Last year, prices were raised as high as 15%, driving up the price for the consumer.
RCTB said 27% of the wholesale growers don’t plan to increase the prices for their trees at all.
The supply of Christmas trees across the U.S. also remains steady, RCTB said. They also noted that scientists who work with Christmas tree farms have not seen any negative impacts on tree production from the recent Canadian wildfires.
The extreme heat and drought conditions concerning some areas of the country have likely contributed to seedling losses for individual tree growers, RCTB said, but generally, that won’t impact the overall Christmas tree market.
According to another recent survey by RCTB, 20% of the respondents are planning to buy a real Christmas tree for the first time this year, and the majority of those who do say they wish they’d switched to a real tree sooner.
“All kinds of people love and put up real Christmas trees,” said Marsha Gray, executive director of the RCTB. “But the sweet spot is those in their family-raising and memory-making years.”
Some of the benefits of a real tree include the natural scent that fills your home, and the traditions and memories made from picking it out at a local tree farm or a seasonal lot, which is where RCTB said most buyers will purchase them from. Real Christmas trees are also better for the environment since they produce oxygen and provide a wildlife habitat during the near-decade they take to grow, and can be recycled once you are done with them.
One cost-effective way you can have a real Christmas tree is by purchasing a tree permit from the USDA Forest Service for $5 to $20. The permit will allow you to cut down your tree of choice from a participating national forest near you. Check out recreation.gov to learn more about getting a tree permit.
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