By India Timpton ONEIDA VALLEY, N.Y. (NCC NEWS) – As people countdown to Christmas, they will also have to count-out more dollar bills when they head out to buy a tree. For many years the argument on whether real or fake trees were better, but now the decision make come down to a person’s finances over their opinion.
Trees, real and fake, can be found in places such as garden stores, supermarkets, and farms. Living in New York the likelihood of purchasing a tree that was born in the state is low. Most come from states like North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.
Since last years record sales many economists have studied and surveyed people involved in the market and found numbers such as (data from the National Christmas Tree Association website):
Real Tree sales in 2016 —
- around 27.4 million sold
- mean average of each was $74.70
- retail value of $2.04 billion
Fake Tree sales in 2017 —
- around 18.6 million sold
- mean average of each was $98.70
- retail value of $1.86 billion
While real trees brought in more money, percentage-wise the sale of fake ones were higher increasing at around 6.4% to real’s less then 2%. So what does this all mean for consumers and farmers is the question?
Dewey Romagnoli, the owner of Romagnoli’s Christmas Tree Farm, said that he does not think the increase will affect his local family-run business. Striving to satisfy customers and not meet quotas, he believes as long as he “does a little better each year they will be fine”.
Le Moyne College Economic Professor Paul Blackley is not as confident. In studying the market he said the more big chains like Home Depot and Walmart join the market sales will get worse for smaller entities. With more money they are able to buy the product and selling them at whatever price they choose.
Around the country the first Saturday of December was found as the day in which most people buy their Christmas trees. As the holiday season continues many will be watching the price tags of both type of trees. It will not be until sales come to a close that economists can evaluate the market and see if damage was done past consumers’ wallets.