1. Will Christmas trees cost more this year than in the past?
While pricing may differ retailer to retailer, consumers can expect both live and artificial Christmas trees to cost more this Christmas. A 2021 USDA report showed that live tree costs have nearly doubled compared to 2015 prices, and artificial Christmas tree retailers have reported having to raise prices 20-30% this season.
These price increases are the result of extreme weather events in the Pacific Northwest and Midwest, supply chain congestion in and out of ports, and shipping container shortages. The economic instability caused by COVID-19 and the impacts of extreme weather have affected all parts of the global and U.S. supply chain, and Christmas trees are no exception. These challenges mean that there will be fewer live and artificial Christmas trees available this year, and those that are available will cost more than before.
2. What can consumers to do ensure they find a Christmas tree this season?
Despite recent headlines, the majority of U.S. consumers will be able to find the perfect Christmas tree for their home this year. However, this is not the year to find a tree last-minute, or to wait for a retailer sale. It’s possible that those sales won’t occur, or that when they do, the inventory will be limited. Plan ahead, and buy early.
For consumers with specific trees in mind, we encourage them to sign up for email updates with their preferred tree retailer to be notified when trees are available. If ordering online, we also recommend that consumers order early to account for possible shipping delays.
3. What’s more affordable – a live Christmas tree, or an artificial one?
Christmas tree price will vary retailer to retailer, with different styles, types, and heights of trees priced differently. On average, live trees cost less than an artificial tree, averaging $104 for an artificial tree and $78 for a live tree.
There are, however, longer-term cost savings associated with purchasing artificial Christmas trees, which can be reused for an average of 10 years. With that usage timeframe in mind, artificial Christmas trees are the most cost-effective option – but only when used over multiple years.
4. Is it better to buy a live or artificial Christmas tree this year?
There’s no such thing as a bad Christmas tree! Consumers should choose whatever type of tree best fits their needs, preferences, and traditions. For tips on choosing a tree, consumers can visit:
American Christmas Tree Association – What to Look for in a Christmas Tree
Family Handyman – How to Choose Between a Real or Fake Christmas Tree
5. Do consumers who already own a tree need to pay attention to this year’s supply chain issues?
For consumers who already own a tree, now is a great time to pull the tree out of the garage or storage and make sure it’s in great condition for the holiday. Sometimes, consumers don’t realize that their tree may need to be replaced until later in the season, and this year, that may be too late to replace it with something new. Our advice to get the tree out early – even if you’re not ready to set it up yet – and check the lights, branches, and base to make sure it’s good to go for the season.