Christmas trees are sparse this year
Tommy Speer helps a customer pick out a Christmas tree at Speer Family Farms in Alameda, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Demand for Christmas trees plummeted during the recession 10 years ago, so tree growers scaled back planting. Tree demand bounced back, but supply didn't.
Why it matters: Buyers are paying more for trees due to the shortage. According to the National Christmas Tree Association, the average price of a tree was $36 in 2008. The price spiked to $78 in 2018.
- The average Christmas tree takes seven years to grow to a typical height, per the association, though some varieties can take up to 15 years. Fraser firs, a popular variety for Christmas trees, take about 10 years to mature.
The big picture: Drought conditions have also made growing more difficult. "We lose quite a few there because they dry out and die," Richard Kreh, who grows and sells Christmas trees in Stuart, Virginia, told ABC-13 WSET.
Yes, but: Despite the higher prices, business is booming as shoppers scrambled to find a tree this year.
- The shortage is expected to be short-lived. Ronnie Richardson of Whitetop, Virginia, told the Bristol Herald-Courier. "The supply will be back in just a few years."