How to pick the right tree this holiday season and save money doing so

Demand for trees is high, supply chain issues affecting costs

DETROIT – Demand for real Christmas trees is as high as ever and Michigan is the third-highest tree-growing state. The question is, will there be enough trees and how much will they cost?

The weekend after Thanksgiving is a big weekend for Christmas tree sales in Michigan. Farms and retailers have been stocking up and bracing for the rush to trim a tree.

Michigan is the third-highest tree-growing state in the country, growing about two million firs, spruces and pines to be sold for the holiday season each year.

A recent survey from the Real Christmas Tree Association revealed that 71% of tree growers were forced to raise their prices anywhere from 5 to 15% before the retail markup.

Younger families are moving away from the artificial tree trend even as prices increase.

“They said we know it’s going to cost more, but the majority said it’s worth it. ‘We’ll pay a little more. We want a real Christmas tree.’ So it’s become a part of their tradition,” said Marsha Gray, the head of the Real Christmas Tree Association.

We’re told the number one thing driving costs up is lingering issues with the supply chain.

“Farmers are no different than anyone else. They’re feeling those inflation pressures. Labor, fuel, fertilizer has been quite a doozy. So you’re seeing it in your food, and you will see it somewhat in your Christmas trees,” Gray said.

The best way to save a few bucks on your tree this year? Check the height.

“The biggest mistake consumers make is they buy a tree that’s too tall for their house, which is funny, we laugh about it. But then you’re cutting off a bunch of money that you’ve spent, if you kind of foot up that tree, you just wasted that money,” Gray explained. “So we always tell you, measure your ceiling height, know what you can fit, save a little room for the stand, save a little room for the star or the angel, and don’t overbuy. And if you go down a foot, you’re gonna save quite a bit in price on that Christmas tree.”

In addition to checking the tree’s height, do some research before you head out to buy.

Check prices and growers of course, but be sure to look at tree species. The species can affect the cost and sometimes branching out to a different kind of tree can shake up your usual holiday decor.

About the Authors:

Grant comes to Local 4 from Oklahoma City. He joins the news team as co-anchor of Local 4 News Today weekend mornings and is a general assignment reporter.

Morgan is a Digital Editor and has been with WDIV since May of 2022. She is also studying political science and communications at Wayne State University.