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Christmas Tree Prices Rose in New England, Despite Good Crop

When this year's sales figures are tallied, Christmas tree prices are expected to be about 4% higher than last year. They rose 5% in 2018. (Jill Wellington/Pixabay)
When this year's sales figures are tallied, Christmas tree prices are expected to be about 4% higher than last year. They rose 5% in 2018. (Jill Wellington/Pixabay)
December 24, 2019

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Even though the crop for Christmas trees was good this year, prices still went up a bit in New Hampshire and Vermont.

Weather this year was better for Christmas tree harvesting than last year, which helped farmers sell more trees to retailers. But according to Jim Horst, executive director of the New Hampshire and Vermont Christmas Tree Association, that isn't the full picture.

"Even though growing conditions may have been good this year in one sense, in the other sense, there weren't as many trees in the ground to take advantage of that, because they weren't planted seven or eight years ago," Horst said.

Horst explained Christmas tree farms planted fewer trees after the 2008 recession - and, since it takes about a decade for a tree to mature for sale, the slowdown a decade ago is now catching up to the marketplace. According to Square sales data, Christmas tree prices nationally increased 23% from 2015 to 2018.

Horst said the good news for tree-buyers is this should be the last year that the tree-planting slowdown from the previous decade will affect pricing. He added overall, New Hampshire and Vermont tree shoppers even had a slight advantage this year because of the good, healthy crop of evergreens.

"Pricing this year has gone up a little bit from last year - from what I hear not a lot, but enough to at least adjust for inflation and maybe a little bit beyond that," he said.

The average price for a Christmas tree topped $75 last year, and this year's figure is expected to be about the same. But for procrastinators still waiting to trim their trees, you might be able to find one today for as little as $50.

Laura Rosbrow-Telem, Public News Service - NH