BUCKEYSTOWN, Md. — Planning on shopping for a Christmas tree? If so, be prepared to spend a little more money. The National Christmas Tree Association said the average cost of a Christmas tree is now up to $75 dollars.
Mehrl Mayne started growing trees more than five decades ago. He is now the owner of Mayne's Tree Farm in Buckeystown, Maryland. "We started planting trees when we got out of the dairy business in 1966... then we started to sell them in 1977," Mayne said.
Mayne said the increasing price tag is due to a nationwide shortage that started more than a decade ago when a number of farmers left the business. "Ten years ago, prices were cheap and so why would they keep planting?" Mayne said.
Each tree takes about ten to twelve years to grow until it is ready to be sold. Now, many farmers have fewer trees. Mayne said the shortage impacts not only the customers but also the farmers. "We need to have prices where they are because if you don't turn some profits...there is no way we can stay in business," Mayne said.
Mayne also said the record wet year in 2018 presented additional challenges for him by killing more than 200 of his younger trees.
Regardless of price, many people said nothing beats the real thing. To learn more about Mayne's Tree Farm, click here.
If you choose to buy a fresh cut tree, experts at the National Christmas Tree Association suggest the following:
- Safety first
- Measure your space
- Think about what type of decorations you will be using
- Learn about the different species of trees
- Ask questions about the trees at the lot
- Do a branch and needle test for freshness
- Look for other indicators of dryness or deterioration
- Recycling your tree