Be ready to spend more for your holiday tree

A look at what trees are being sold for and the difference in prices depending on the size at Hart T Tree Farms. Photo courtesy: Jordan Forbes

Christmas trees are an essential part of the holiday season. Whether it’s for décor or a way to spend time with family, the fragrant Fraser Fir is a staple for the holidays.

But with this traditional centerpiece comes rising prices as the years pass. Natural Christmas tree prices have always increased, but looking at the prices from only five years ago, the difference is clear to see.

These prices are growing all over, not just in Florida. According to CBSNews, there was a national Christmas tree shortage in 2021, which caused a spike in cost, but according to the National Christmas Tree Association, there was still a 25 percent jump in the costs of trees for 2022.

“The main reason that these trees are way more expensive this year has to do with the drought,” said CBS News reporter Jessica Oh. “Christmas trees are just not able to grow fast enough in time for the holiday season.”

While the drought may add to inflation for tree costs, according to Tim O’Connor the executive director of the National Christmas Tree Association, there are still more than enough to go around for the holidays.

In an article recently published Dec. 2 by CNN Business, the author, Parija Kavilanz, spoke to Marsha Gray, the executive director of the Real Christmas Tree Board, about how wholesale prices are going to be more controlled this year compared to last year.

“The reason for that is that the supply looks good,” Gray said. “What impacted those prices last year were the input costs for the growers, labor, fertilizer, and fuel.”

Also mentioning that farms have most likely opted to absorb more of the business cost increases instead of passing them on to the retail customers. Understanding that inflation has hit families’ pockets for all expenses, many farms are working to cut cost increases as much as they can preventing customers from paying the inflated tree price.

The most common types of real Christmas trees found are firs, spruces and pines, and they are the most popular to be sold during the most wonderful time of year. However, in Florida, you can usually find a good ’ol Fraser Fir.

While you can buy Fraser Firs at most grocery or hardware stores like Publix and Home Depot, there is a Christmas Tree Farm around 20 minutes away in Gadsden County named Havana Christmas Tree Farm.

According to their website, Havana Christmas Tree Farm has been a family destination for many years. The Turner family bought the property with hopes of providing a space where the community could come together and enjoy Christmas family tradition.

Kendall Williams, a resident of Tallahassee for more than 20 years, expects real tree costs to rise each year and always has a pre-set budget before shopping. He said that due to today’s inflation having a domino effect on everything around him, he understands that what he’s willing to spend will determine the look of his tree.

“I usually keep a pre-set budget. I never spend more than $75 with the goal to be closer to $50,” said Williams. “That may impact the size of the tree I buy, and of course, I want the biggest and healthiest tree I can find for my money.”

While Williams was able to find a tree at Sam’s Club for just under $60, he highlighted that he’s simply not willing to spend over $100 for trees as they are “seasonal décor we use for one and a half months at best.”

Yes, the cost of real Christmas trees is rising and can be attributed to droughts and overall inflation; while places such as tree farms are doing their best to mitigate inflating costs. Christmas trees are a staple for the holiday, and the new norm is pricier trees so is it time to invest in fake trees?