In 2022, it is estimated that 26.2 million live / real Christmas trees will be purchased. That's may be down slightly from previous years (27.4 million in 2018)
There are about 350 million Christmas trees growing on Christmas Tree farms in the U.S at any given moment.
The 2022 median (midpoint) price is expected to be about $93.
Compare this with the
Although Darren McGavin in "A Christmas Story" felt haggling was the best approach, that was the 1950's, so we can offer a more pragmatic approach.
The best price going is free (or close to free). For $5 many National Forests will give you a permit to cut your own tree. Check our page here to see if there is such a forest near you. Of course, you're completely on your own, and we all saw how that worked out for Clark Griswold (National Lampoon's "Christmas Vacation" Truly a Christmas classic movie) ...
If the nearest National Forest (that allows cutting a tree) is too far away, or the permits are sold out, the next cheapest option is your local choose and cut farm. Obviously, our pages for your state and area will show you those farms. In addition to help cutting the tree and help transporting it back you your car, baling / netting, and help loading your car, they often have hayrides, bonfires with smores, visits with Santa and a shed to warm up in. So, rough it for cheap or a have smooth easy trip for more is your choice.
FYI, we do not recommend Clark Griswold's second method (his neighbor's yard)...
Costco almost always has cut Fraser for the best price around. Last year, I believe they were around $60.
Finally, prices on cut trees drop dramatically in the several days leading up to Christmas. If you can wait until December 22nd to 24th, you can get a fantastic price. Unless you live in Europe, where the tradition is often to wait until the 24th to put up the tree.
Of course, waiting until the last minute can mean no tree or a Charlie Brown tree, as the good ones may be gone. Especially this year, when we expect demand to be extremely high.
Almost all Christmas tree farms have cut trees in addition to cut your own. See our pages for your state and area will show you those farms.
Square, the company that does transaction processing, worked with the National Christmas Tree Association to create an online tool to allow consumers to enter a few facts (location, how long you want to display the tree) and find out the statistical best time to buy your tree. See this page for the Square Christmas Tree Purchasing Pricing Tool.
I'm not sure exactly how their tool works, but here's a simple approach:
Christmas trees take 7 to 10 years to grow from seedlings to marketable trees (6 to 8 feet tall). Obviously, weather conditions affect the growth rate; and droughts can kill both seedlings and larger trees, cutting into supplies, and therefore prices. The same is true of wildfires and insects and disease>
So, unlike most farms who can plan plantings 1 year in advance, or even adapt from one season to the next, Christmas tree farms must make an educated guess almost 10 years into the future.
And each season's pricing affects the farmer's resources and ability to plan and plant for the future years.
Other market forces affect the tree's pricing. Most cut trees must be shipped, typically by truck, from the major growing areas in Oregon, Michigan and western North Carolina to the consumer. So, the price of oil, reflected in diesel or gasoline, also affects the price.
Finally, consumer sentiment affects prices. We expect demand to be dramatically very high this year, as inflation, supply chain problems, fires, droughts and consumers weary of lockdowns and a contentious political year. In times like that, many people yearn for a return to traditions that provide a sense of comfort and stability. Like a brightly lit Christmas tree in the living room!
Once the farms and lots open (usually after Thanksgiving) we will start gathering and positing prices as they are reported to us: