Why Christmas trees are more expensive this year

Related - Christmas tree costs are on the rise across Canada this year.

If you have visited a Christmas tree lot this year, you may have noticed an increase in the price.

That’s if you can find a good one at all.

Shirley Brennan, executive director of the Canadian Christmas Tree Association, says the boost in price is due to the natural growing cycle of the popular Fraser fir tree.

“It is harder to grow a Fraser fir,” she explains. It takes a lot longer to grow a Fraser Fir, and not all soils can grow a Fraser fir. … It takes anywhere from 10 to 15 years to grow.”

But she says if you’re not particular, some lots are providing other types of fir trees.

“The growers have different types of fir trees that are offsetting the Fraser fir trees.”

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So, demand is one of the major reasons why there are fewer trees on some lots across the country and the cost seems to be higher. Brennan says that the cost of farming is also adding to the price of the product.

“Trees across Canada are up, on average, five per cent, which isn’t bad, considering things like fertilizer are up around 50 per cent.”

She adds that tree lots also have costs that are then added to the price of a tree.

It all adds up to some concern for people who love a live tree in the house this time of year. But Brennan says there is hope.

“After the pandemic and the lockdowns were lifted, demand (for trees) grew and that demand has stayed, … and the younger generation wants to get involved in tree farming.”

She says they are also getting involved in planting pumpkins, lavender and other things popular in the agri-tourism sector.

“The younger generation doesn’t want me to come to their farm only once a year,” she explains. Farmers are therefore looking for ways to use their acreages to bring people back several times over a year, while also keeping in mind that their investments in Christmas trees won’t pay off for between 10 and 14 years.

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Brennan says farmers, who used to plant only once a year, are now planting at least twice a year as a way to combat damage due to climate change.

“Extreme weather is the big challenge, so now farmers are planting once in the fall and once in the spring so the trees can take root before the extremes hit.”

While tree farmers are dealing with challenges, Brennan believes that her industry is alive and well.


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