LANSING, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – Those who prefer the traditional “real” Christmas tree will find a bountiful harvest according to Christmas tree suppliers who have had a particularly large crop of trees.
According to the Executive Director of the Michigan Christmas Tree Association, Amy Start, the weather was just right, so one can maybe expect a bit more trunk thickness than normal, and the number of trees is expected to have returned to the levels last seen a decade ago.
Though the supply is greater, the cost will likely be greater as well due to increased gas costs and inflation.
AAA has reported that diesel used in Christmas tree shipping trucks costs roughly $5.50 a gallon – nearly $2 a gallon higher than two years ago.
Start anticipates that one should expect between $10 to $12 a foot for the trees with higher prices in urban areas and lower prices in rural areas with premiums for all the sleigh bells and whistles at full-service spots that include experiences.
While people go home with a tree to display, the real product being sold is most often tradition and nostalgia, she said.
A study by the Real Christmas Tree Board revealed that nearly half of real Christmas tree buyers opted for a real tree because of the smell.
Michigan’s Christmas tree economy is huge business. A Michigan State University study in 2006 showed the industry was a $100 million dollar industry, one that has grown in recent years.
Despite some recent slow years in real Christmas tree sales, Michigan is well on its way to recovering from the 2008 recession, and there are many more trees available according to Start.
She anticipates that this season will yield between 1.7 million and 2 million trees, which is higher than the numbers in the National Agricultural Statistics Service survey from 2012 showing 1.7 million trees and 1.5 million in 2017.
Though the number of trees has grown by a large margin, approximately two-thirds of the customers in the U.S. buy artificial trees according to a 2021 survey by Rocket homes.
North American Real Christmas Trees are grown in all 50 states and Canada. Eighty percent (80%) of artificial trees worldwide are manufactured in China, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.
If the holiday season does not move you to indulge in a real tree, there are several artificial trees on the market with high ratings.