With Christmas less than a month away, Christmas tree wholesalers and retailers are ready for the selling season. The Real Christmas Tree Board (RCTB) released the data from their second year of surveying Christmas tree wholesale growers, helping to predict the price of wholesale Christmas trees in 2023 compared to 2022.

Overall, there are less predicted wholesale price increases than there were in 2022.

The executive director of RCTB, Marsha Gray, mentioned that the survey reaches wholesale growers that “represent well over half of the trees being sold in the U.S.,” making it a strong interpretation of the price changes occurring in this U.S. market.

The survey was first created to help predict the wholesale price changes in 2022 due to the inflation rates rising across the world. Specifically, the RCTB was getting a lot of questions on how the retail prices were going to change, but considering they do not have the ability to predict retail prices, they instead looked at the trends in wholesale pricing.

Gray explained, “We can’t tell you retail, but we can give you a feel for what the wholesale price did this year.” For example, although the cost of fertilizer and labor inputs continue to increase for the growers, the increase was significantly smaller this year than it was in 2022. This year alone, growers indicated that their input costs have increased around 10% since 2022, whereas the 2022 survey showed increases between 11% and 22%.

This less-dramatic increase of input cost shows to be beneficial to the retailers purchasing the wholesale trees, as many of the growers will not be passing the increase off to their retailers but absorbing the cost instead. In fact, 71% of the surveyed growers last year estimated a 5% to 15% increase in their wholesale prices, whereas only 25% of the surveyed growers this year estimated the same.

Although it’s not clear how the wholesale growers are absorbing this cost without losing income themselves, their selling price is all individual as “each grower makes those decisions based on what makes sense for their business and what they think they can do,” Gray said.

For the retailers selling their Christmas trees to homeowners, it’s important to keep in mind that not everyone views Christmas trees as a necessity but rather an item they choose to spend their money on. A 2023 consumer survey conducted by the RCTB found that of those who bought real Christmas trees last year, 5% plan to spend less this year, 57% plan to spend the same as last year and 38% plan to spend more.

In addition to the informative surveys the RCTB provides, their website includes a beneficial tool called the Retail Locator, where anyone selling wholesale trees can easily, and at no cost, find retailers nearby.

For more information on the retail locator and the wholesale and consumer survey results, visit realchristmastreeboard.com.

by Kelsi Devolve