Some Christmas tree farms in the Ottawa-area opened their doors for business this weekend. Industry leaders expect it to be another busy year for the real Christmas tree market, with additional price increases.
At Cedar Hill Christmas Tree Farm on Sunday, the hunt was on for the perfect tree.
For the Keith’s, it was the first time they traded in their artificial tree for the real deal.
“It’s awesome, especially for the core memories,” said Kathy Keith. “She’s 3 years old now, she will hopefully remember this with the pictures and things for a long time.”
Between 2017 and 2021, the Christmas tree industry grew by $73 million and Ontario alone saw a $5 million increase. A trend that is expected to continue into this year, according to the Christmas Tree Farmers of Ontario.
“That is not just because prices have gone up,” Shirley Brennan, executive director of the Christmas Tree Farmers of Ontario, said. “That is because we know we’re selling more trees. Thanks to the pandemic, that is part of the reason why demand has gone up.”
Christmas trees were in demand on Sunday at Cedar Hill Christmas Tree Farm, as the tree farm opened for the season. (Katelyn Wilson/CTV News Ottawa)
Although the province is not seeing a supply shortage like other parts of the country, Brennan said inflation is driving up the cost of things like fuel and fertilizer.
Last year, the country saw an average increase of 10 per cent in the price of Christmas trees and this year, Brennan said prices could jump another five per cent.
“Prices of food and from other farm commodities have gone up because the price of running our farms have gone up and that’s where the price increases are coming from,” Brennan said.
On average, an artificial tree will run you anywhere from $25 to thousands, depending on what you are looking for.
At Cedar Hill Christmas Tree Farm, prices range from $40 to $350 depending on the size.
Co-owner Pam Martin says for the most part, prices are similar to last year or slightly higher.
“We have definitely seen some price increases in some of our input supplies, we’ve done our best to minimize any type of cost increases in our trees,” Martin said. “There might be slight price increases but there shouldn’t be any type of crazy sticker shock when they come to visit the farm.”
Chris Carkner and his family like to go big, and they took home a 12-foot-tall Christmas tree.
“Last year, it might have been $250 and it was $325 this year,” Carkner said. “It hiked last year as well we noticed and we know more people are doing more real trees we noticed.”
Price aside, for those families like the Keith’s, searching for the perfect tree may be more about the experience and less about the price tag.
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