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2019

2019 Christmas Tree Statistics, Facts and Trends

The NY Times tells us that a man named W. V. McGalliard planted 25,000 Norway spruce seedlings on his farm in Mercer County not far from Trenton in 1901, making his farm the first commercial Christmas tree farm. The seedlings grew, and in 1908, customers came to the farm to choose their trees, buy them at $1 per tree, watch them being cut, and took them home or had them delivered. That was the birth of a huge industry - as well as a haven for wildlife - as that humble beginning led to over 350 million trees growing today!  Also see:

Christmas Trees and Decorations

The National Christmas Tree Association's (NCTA) most recent consumer survey is from 2017 and was conducted within the United States by Nielsen/Harris Poll. They polled 2,086 adults (over age 18) and from the survey, they estimate 2017 data was:

Real

27.4 million real Christmas trees were purchased

There are about 350 million Christmas trees growing on Christmas Tree farms in the U.S at any given moment.

The 2017 average price of a real Christmas tree was $75.

The best-selling species in The U.S. are

  1. Fraser fir,
  2. Noble fir
  3. Douglas fir,
  4. Balsam fir and
  5. Scotch pine. Christmas tree growing areas

Fake

21.1 million new fake trees were purchased in 2017.

The average price for a fake tree was $107

Where are the trees grown?

The largest Christmas tree growing states are (in order, largest to smallest):

  1. Oregon,
  2. North Carolina,
  3. Michigan,
  4. Pennsylvania,
  5. Wisconsin and
  6. Washington.

North Carolina is the leading grower of Fraser fir. Oregon is the top grower of Noble fir and Douglas firs.

The second tier states are:

  1. Alabama,
  2. California,
  3. Connecticut,
  4. Florida,
  5. Georgia,
  6. Illinois,
  7. New Jersey,
  8. New York,
  9. Ohio.

Depending upon who you use as a sources, there are roughly 3,000 to 4,000 Christmas tree farms in the United States.  

Where are trees purchased?

It looks like half of all consumers are equally split between going to a tree farm verses a big box store. Nurseries, tree lots and non-profit groups make up the other half.

  • Choose & Cut Christmas tree farm: 27%
  • Big Box Store (Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Lowes, etc.): 26%
  • Nursery/Garden Center: 15%
  • Retail Tree Lot: 19%
  • Non-Profit Group (Boy Scouts, churches, etc.): 10%
  • All Other: 3%Christmas trees, Carbon emissions and the Carbon cycle

Christmas tree facts

  • Christmas Trees are grown in all 50 states... while 80% of the artificial trees sold worldwide are manufactured in China, (U.S. Commerce Department.).
  • For every Real Christmas Tree harvested, 1 to 3 seedlings are planted the following spring.
  • There are about 15,000 Christmas tree farms in the U.S.,
  • A Christmas tree takes between 4 to 15 years to grow to a typical height (6 - 7 feet)  depending upon the variety, weather, etc.; the average growing time is 7 years.
  • The roughly 350 million christmas trees currently growing on commercial tree farms are busy sucking up carbon from the atmosphere! See the graphic at right.

Wayback Machine: 2007

By way of contrast, let's go back 10 years and looks at Christmas tree sales data from 2007

$493.3 million
Sales by U.S. Christmas tree farmers in 2007.
Source: USDA Economic Research Service <http://www.ers.usda.gov/ >

$114.3 million
Sales by Christmas tree farmers in Oregon in 2007.
Source: USDA Economic Research Service <http://www.ers.usda.gov/ >

$593.8 million
The value of U.S. imports of Christmas tree ornaments from China between January and August 2008. China was the leading country of origin for such items. Similarly, China was the leading foreign source of artificial Christmas trees shipped to the United States ($66.2 million worth) during the same period.
Source: Foreign Trade Statistics <http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/www/ >

Sources:

 

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