Buyers of real Christmas trees paid on average $75 for their Christmas trees last year, up from $35 in 2013, according a survey commissioned by the National Christmas Tree Association, and spokesperson Doug Hundley says that wholesalers are reporting prices $80 or higher this season.

Expand chart
Data: National Christmas Tree Association; Chart: Chris Canipe / Axios

Why prices have more than doubled: Hundley blames the great recession for limiting the industry's capacity to harvest enough trees to keep prices from rising steeply. Because it takes a Christmas tree about ten years to grow harvestable, the drop off in demand between 2007 and 2009 meant that growers did not have the revenue or available space on their farms to plant the trees that are being bought today.

One caveat: Hundley points out that the National Christmas Tree Association survey asks respondents how much they paid for their Christmas tree, but not about its size. It's possible that some of this increase in spending is due to shoppers opting for bigger or better-quality trees, especially as the economic recovery shifted into higher gear over the past year.

Blame inflation: In a note to clients, Deutsche Bank's Torsten Sløk said Christmas tree prices could reflect general inflation just as much as the idiosyncrasies of evergreen farming.

Go deeper

Coronavirus cases rise in 25 states

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise/Axios

New coronavirus infections rose over the past week in half the country.

Why it matters: The U.S. remains largely unable or unwilling to control the spread of the virus.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 33,976,447 — Total deaths: 1,014,266 — Total recoveries: 23,644,023Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 7,233,945 — Total deaths: 206,959 — Total recoveries: 2,840,688 — Total tests: 103,939,667Map.
  3. Education: School-aged children now make up 10% of all U.S COVID-19 cases.
  4. Health: Moderna says its coronavirus vaccine won't be ready until 2021
  5. Travel: CDC: 3,689 COVID-19 or coronavirus-like cases found on cruise ships in U.S. waters — Airlines begin mass layoffs while clinging to hope for federal aid
  6. Business: Real-time data show economy's rebound slowing but still going.
  7. Sports: Steelers-Titans NFL game delayed after coronavirus outbreak.
Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump signs stopgap bill to prevent government shutdown

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel and President Trump arrives at the U.S. Capitol in March. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

President Trump signed a bill to extend current levels of government funding after funding expired briefly, White House spokesperson Judd Deere confirmed early Thursday.

Why it matters: The move averts a government shutdown before the Nov. 3 election. The Senate on Wednesday passed the legislation to fund the federal government through Dec. 11, by a vote of 84-10.