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Consumers warned Christmas trees will be pricey this year


British Columbia's wild weather over the past few years, combined with rising inflation, is leading to a sharp increase in the price of real Christmas trees this year.

It takes about 10 years to grow a tree, and the extreme heat in 2021 scorched many maturing branches – and that was before the floods came.

“Some of the trees that maybe would have been ready this year for harvest, now are delayed,” said Shirley Brennan, executive director of The Canadian Christmas Tree Association.

“If the heat and the drought and the dryness stunted the growth, it could take another three years for that tree to be marketable.”

Trees may not be as tall as customers are used to. Some may seem more brittle.

Farmers are also having to deal with the rising cost of fertilizer, fuel, farm equipment and insurance.

“Everything has gone up, so our prices have gone up,” said Joan Fleming, owner of Saanichton Christmas Tree Farm, who is grateful her crop fared very well despite the weather.

“I don’t want to gouge my customers, but you know, I have to cover my costs too,” she said.

The price of a trees varies wildly, because it depends on the type and location of purchase.

But customers are being warned to expect increases of about 10 per cent over what they paid last year, maybe more.

“The difference between (Christmas Trees and) other commodities is that we incur these costs for 10 years before our product goes to market,” Brennan reasoned. “So for 10 years, things have been moving upwards steadily.”

There are also 226 fewer Christmas tree farms in the province than there were a decade ago. Top Stories

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