Christmas shopping hasn’t been so merry this year for those in the market for a new tree.
According to the American Christmas Tree Association (ACTA), the average price for a real Christmas tree in 2023 has hovered between $80 and $100 with some places seeing prices higher than $1,000. An artificial tree is even more expensive with price tags ranging from $85 to $1,000.
“According to our 2023 survey, 52% of artificial Christmas tree owners purchased their tree for under $200, and 27% paid $200 to $400,” ACTA executive director Jami Warner said in a recent interview with Fox Business. “For artificial Christmas trees, costs vary depending on the producer, retailer, size, shape, and features such as pre-lit options.”
Even though artificial trees are more costly, many Mississippians have been forced to move away from real trees due to a recent drought that impacted not only the state but much of the nation.
Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson said that while the demand for locally grown trees has soared in recent years, the supply has fallen this winter because of the drought, resulting in many residents going the artificial route.
“Artificial trees have caught on. They’re convenient for a lot of folks,” Gipson said. “In recent years, we have really seen an increase in demand for the local Mississippi Christmas trees, but not just the tree itself, which is fresh and has that Christmassy smell. It’s the experience that families enjoy — going out to a tree farm, picking the tree, and cutting the tree.”
Gipson estimates that three out of every five locally-grown trees that would typically be available this time of year died as a result of the dry conditions the state recently faced. However, the commissioner affirmed that farmers are taking the requisite steps to ensure that there will be an abundance of natural Christmas trees on display in homes throughout the state next winter.
“The good news is that farmers have already taken steps to prepare for next season. This is the time to put new trees in the ground,” Gipson added. “We’ll get through this. It’s been a tough year, but I’m thankful for the rain we are getting. The ground is softening up and we just need more of that.”
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