You may have to pay more for a live Christmas tree this year

Cindy Bae Image
Sunday, November 27, 2022
You may have to pay more for a live Christmas tree this year
Many consumer goods have been affected by the record inflation, and live Christmas trees are also on the list.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- When looking for the right real Christmas tree at the Farmer's Market in Raleigh on Saturday, Apex resident Jessie Olson considered several factors.

"Sometimes we want to go a little taller," Olson said. "Sometimes we want a little fatter. It kind of depends on what we're looking for."

Olson noticed the price of real Christmas trees has also gone up this year, like most consumer goods affected by inflation,

"Last year, we noticed a really noticeable difference in price," Olson said. "It had gone up significantly."

Extension forestry specialist at NC State Jeff Owen said the cost of real Christmas trees grown in North Carolina is 10-15% more than last year. But although it's more expensive, the core value remains the same as what it was several decades ago, according to Owen.

"I know that growers were concerned about raising prices, but they're dealing with inflation on all the products they have to buy to produce Christmas trees," Owen said.

Luke Goss at Goss Tree Farms said they had to raise prices a little bit due to the cost of fertilizer, fuel and all that goes into bringing the Fraser Firs from West Jefferson to Raleigh.

"We grow everything we sell," Goss said. "We take care of each and every tree, we know where they come from, when they were cut, and we know how to take care of them."

The price tag may be higher but Christmas tree growers have been charging roughly the same price, according to Owen.

"You look at the actual value of the money and what it will buy in our economy, and tree growers have been charging roughly the same price for over 50 years, or 60 years almost," Owen said. "As we see the prices go up over the last few years, we feel that it's actually getting the industry to a point where it's sustainable. It takes anywhere from 10 to 15 years to grow. And they need to be able to get enough money out of that finished product to justify that long-term investment."

Despite these challenges, Owen said North Carolina growers remain capable of meeting the demand, which Goss echoed.

"Seems like year after year, no matter how good or bad things get, people still want a Christmas tree," Goss said. "Even if they can't necessarily do as much as they want with presents they still want something to have family gather around."