Buying a Christmas tree in 2018 might ruin your holiday budget since supplies continue to decline, again forcing prices up in many parts of the country.
The National Christmas Tree Association said the cost of the evergreens are expected to increase 2% over last year’s average price of $64-$73. That’s on the heels of a 17% price spike from 2015-2017.
The reasons vary, but it largely comes down to three things: the economy, bad weather, and farmers shifting to more lucrative crops, in some instances marijuana in the Pacific Northwest.
It takes between 7-10 years for a Christmas tree to grow from seed to a size worthy of cutting. And since a decade ago during the Great Recession many growers planted fewer trees, there’s less inventory today. Other Christmas farmers went out of business.
“In 2008-09 (growers) probably had produced about two or three million trees extra above what we could sell,” Chal Landgren, professor and Christmas tree specialist with Oregon State University, told the Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Moscow, Idaho. “Growers stopped planting. Growers got out of the business, and then now we’re probably pretty close to what the demand may be, but it’s a bit hit or miss.”
In the Pacific-Northwest , some farmers have moved away from planting Christmas trees and instead have focused on more profitable crops, in some instances marijuana.