As someone who’s interested in all things gardening, lots of people have confided their concerns about the cost of their Christmas tree. Were you surprised by how expensive real Christmas trees were this year?
A few weeks ago I spoke to Roger Hay, secretary of the British Christmas Tree Growers Association (BCTGA), to find out about tree prices this year.
He told me that taller trees – those that are 6.5 to 10ft tall – are likely to be £5 to £10 more expensive due to a shortage. But not everyone wants a tree that big.
According to Roger, we should be paying around £30 for a 6ft Norway Spruce and £36-£45 for a similar sized Nordmann Fir. But a quick straw poll of my friends found that they actually paid around £30 for trees that were only 4 or 5ft tall.
Christmas tree prices on the up
So, what’s going on? Admittedly most of my friends bought their trees in the South East, so the high costs could be unique to that part of the country. Or are Christmas tree suppliers pushing up their prices in line with the general price rises we’re experiencing everywhere else?
Professional buyers say it’s all down to a shortage of trees. Around eight million Christmas trees were bought in the UK last year (up from 2m in 2002), which it’s said has left a shortage of around 50,000 trees.
Plus, according to the BCTGA, over 60m trees are sold every year across Europe, resulting in an estimated shortage of around 5m trees! With demand pushing up wholesale prices and sellers accused of not wanting let go of their margins, we’re the ones getting hit by more expensive trees.
So, if you bought a Christmas tree this year, we’d love to know how much you paid for it. Was it more expensive than last year’s? Maybe you bought a smaller tree, or didn’t buy one at all, to save money?