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Local Christmas tree prices on track for pre-pandemic prices, despite nationwide increase

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Posted at 5:03 AM, Dec 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-01 16:52:39-05

The day after Thanksgiving kicks off the Christmas tree purchasing season and according to a Central Coast farm, Brookshire Farms, inventory is full this year.

For the family-owned operation, the supply comes from a recently purchased farm in Oregon, allowing them to cut and ship trees, fresh.

"Nationwide, I think there are issues back east. What we're seeing is there are shortages there and the Midwest, but California looks to be pretty stocked in trees this year," said Shawn Callaway, co-owner of Brookshire Farms.

But just as we evade one issue, another arises. Inflation has caused a growth in tree prices across the U.S. According to the National Christmas Tree Association, the average cost of a natural Christmas tree last year was about $70. This year, the Real Christmas Tree Board, says it’s expected to climb to nearly $100.

For Callaway, the increase in cost has come from labor.

"Labor has gone up about 25%. We’ve had to raise about $5 to $6 a tree to be able to be about where we were supposed to be last year and last year for the first time in years we went up about $10 a tree," Callaway said.

If you are tightening your belt this year, the Douglas fir is the most popular, wallet-friendly option. At Brookshire Farms, a standard 6-7 footer will run you $72.

But if you’re willing to splurge for a more classic style, the Noble fir is the most popular. The same height will cost about $105.

"People are still like, I'm down for Christmas so I'm down to spend as much money as I need to, to get the tree they want. A lot of people find a tree and really connect with it," said Alli Hines, Assistant Manager at Brookshire Farms.

As more people make the change to artificial trees, Callaway believes there will always be those loyal to the real ones. It's those faithful to the farms that will keep the tradition alive.

For the last two years, Callaway says, revenue has been increasing and this year, they look on track to get back to pre-pandemic sale levels.

Brookshire Farms, on Los Osos Valley Road between San Luis Obispo and Los Osos, is open Sunday- Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.