According to a survey conducted by the Real Christmas Tree Board, prices on real Christmas trees will rise this year due to the inflation in the country and higher operating cost.
The board surveyed 55 wholesale Christmas tree growers and found that 71% of those surveyed expect to raise prices. The wholesale prices they charge retailers are expected to increase by 5-15% compared to last year, and others cited increases as high as 20%.
Sun River Gardens in Orem sells Christmas trees during the holiday season. Employee Scott Engh said the reason for the high cost of trees this year is due to the general inflation and labor challenges the U.S. is facing.
“It is definitely affecting the Christmas tree growers that grow and cut trees,” Engh said.
The survey reported the causes of concern for Christmas tree growers: supply chain slowdowns were the most significant concern reported by 44%, 35% said the impact of inflation on consumer spending and 21% reported labor availability and cost.
Another contributing factor that Engh later explained is the increase in temperatures that happened last year in the northwest area.
“Temperatures rose quickly to 116 to 118 degrees which eventually burned trees,” Engh said. “There was no way for a lot of the Christmas tree growers to cool the trees down.”
Due to the increase in temperatures, there has been a limited supply of trees for growers to sell, according to Engh.
Even though prices are high, consumers still seem to prefer to buy a real Christmas tree.
“It’s more of a tradition for me so I think I’ll keep buying a Christmas tree,” Utah resident Lisa Neil said.
Sun River Gardens employee Laura Crome said she prefers the realness of a tree rather than having an artificial tree.
“I’m very much a real tree person and I like real trees better,” Crome said. “It smells better.”