Looking for a live Christmas tree? Expect paying more this year

By WVUA 23 News Student Reporter Avery Lake

If you’re thinking about getting a real tree for the holidays, start saving money now. Industry experts predict we’re going to have to pay more for most trees this season.

“The real Christmas tree industry met demand last year and it will meet demand this year,” said Marsha Gray, Executive Director of the Real Christmas Tree Board. “Our annual consumer survey showed that 86% of real Christmas tree buyers said they had no problems finding a place nearby to buy their tree last year,” stated Gray.

Retailers are seeing steady consumer interest in real Christmas trees. The YMCA Men’s Club and Jackie of All Trades have set up tree lots in Tuscaloosa. Both retailers sell trees from the Appalachian Mountains.

Inflation has affected the Christmas tree market with more than a third of Christmas tree growers say that their cost increased by 16%. The YMCA is selling its trees to raise money for its programs.

“All the proceeds we bring in go to the YMCA and most of it goes to helping the children’s programs that the YMCA runs, said Tripp Rogers, who is selling trees. “I think most the trees we have in right now range from $90. to $260. We’ve sold out of our big trees already this year.”

Graham Gillian runs a Christmas tree lot at Jackie of All Trades on Rice Mine Road in Tuscaloosa.

“We sell North Carolina Frasier Furs. They’re all grown in Appalachian Mountains and we bring them down here to sell them here in Tuscaloosa. It’s our eighth or ninth year in Tuscaloosa,” said Gillian.

According to The Real Christmas Tree Board prices are up for everyone and growers anticipate raising their wholesale prices 5% to 15% compared to last year. Growers cited supply chain slowdowns, inflation, and rising operating costs as their top concerns for the increase.  

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