Sunday, December 18, 2011

Real Christmas Tree Industry Needled by Growing Artificial Tree Sales by Elaine Lockey

Christmas tree farm
There has been a downward trend in real Christmas tree sales in the US, from 40% of homes purchasing one in 1991 to just 23% last year (National Christmas Tree Association). The main reason? More people are buying artificial trees. In the recent Wall Street Journal article, "Fir Real? Christmas Trees in Crisis", changing demographics are contributing to the decline - baby boomers are less inclined to buy real trees as they get older. Buyers of real trees are buying smaller trees now which are less profitable. The economy is also playing a role as tree growers planted a surplus of trees when the economy was doing well but now there is an oversupply of trees with fewer buyers.

Real Christmas trees have a long and illustrious history.  The first known decorated tree was in Latvia in 1510.  Since then, Christmas trees have held a place in countless homes and outdoor displays. A Christmas tree has been displayed in the White House annually since 1914, when President Franklin Pierce began the tradition.

There are over 21,000 Christmas tree growers in the US that employ 100,000 people.  Almost half a million acres of land are grown for Christmas tree production. So what is the industry doing about the decline in sales? 

They are putting the science behind the sales to make real trees more preferable to consumers:

For lots of fun and historical facts about Christmas trees, like the ones above, visit

Christmas tree pruning
2011 National Christmas Tree

Photos courtesy of:,,