There is an abundance of Christmas trees available, but that hasn’t reduced the purchase price.
A survey of wholesale Christmas tree growers that the Real Christmas Tree Board released at the end of September foretold the price jump.
As reported in the survey, tree growing costs are up and a “majority of growers [71 percent] cited a likely wholesale price increase of 5 percent to 15 percent compared to last year, while 11 percent of respondents anticipated increasing their wholesale prices by a more modest amount: up to no more than 5 percent over last year.”
A segment, 11 percent of the respondents, “put their anticipated price increase at 6 percent to 10 percent more than last year.
“Only 5 percent expect their increase to hit 20 percent or more. Fewer than 2 percent of respondents said they don’t anticipate increasing their wholesale prices this year.”
Retailers of Christmas trees are affected by wholesale grower prices and other costs.
Husband and wife Matthew and Megan Krugger have owned Mistletoe Acres Tree Farm in East Bridgewater, Massachusetts, since 2012.
Mistletoe Acres offers pre-cut Christmas trees and also “choose-and-cut” trees. They are those growing in a field on the farm, and which either a customer, or a farm staffer, can cut down with a small hand saw.
This season Mistletoe Acres Tree Farm will sell close to 4,000 pre-cut—and in the neighborhood of 250–400 choose-and-cut Christmas trees. Choose-and-cut trees go fast at Mistletoe Acres—and none remain for 2022.
“Last year, we charged $15 per foot of height of the tree—and this year we are up to $16—even if we probably should charge more,” said Matthew Krugger.
“There are a lot of factors in a rise in price—among them a rise in the labor costs, with the minimum wage going up, and fertilizer and diesel fuel prices going through the roof.”
He said that diesel fuel, which this past summer increased in cost more than $6 a gallon, runs farm equipment and the trucks that transport trees to Mistletoe Acres—and that conflict overseas is having a cost impact in that Ukraine is a major global fertilizer producer.
Matthew Krugger said that a smart strategy in buying from Mistletoe Acres Tree Farm is to shop early.
“‘For that first week after Thanksgiving, our stock is almost exclusively of the highest quality, which the USDA grades as Premium—and which we sell this year for $16 a foot,” said Krugger.
“As we get closer to Christmas, a higher percentage of our stock is at a lesser quality grade … and the price for these trees is $16 a foot.”
Following Thanksgiving the farm is packed with people looking for the best tree, one that will stay freshest and most fragrant the longest, which he says helps families extend enjoyment of Christmastime and the holidays.
“During the weekend after Thanksgiving, we do have some people wondering if we have a $60 or $70 tree, and we don’t.”
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Fri, 12/09/2022 – 09:50
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Author: Tyler Durden