Every holiday season we follow the routine - have Thanksgiving dinner and then the Christmas tree goes up. Trees are more expensive this year and they’ll be gone sooner than years in the past.
“We’ve been through the ups and downs in the business and it is agriculture,” said James Merrill, CEO of Merrill Family Holiday Sales. “It does grow and retract so there are times when things are easy and times when things are tough.”
Merrill has been in the Christmas tree business for 25 years and keeps track of supply and demand.
“We went through a period of about six years where trees were easy to come by supply was really high so prices were really low,” Merrill said. “It’s just ag, it’s like a big rubber band. When you pull on it really hard there’s issues and in a perfect world it’s just relaxed.”
Christmas trees are unique in the agricultural industry. Most farmers harvest their crops every year, but according to Merrill, it takes six to nine years for a Christmas tree to make it to your living room.
Now that supply is low and prices are high, Merrill sees a negative trend for the next five to six years.
“When do people have enough of it and say, ‘I’m going to get a fake one and that’s what we’re going to do.’ So that’s the trend that scares me a little bit,” Merrill said.
Merrill said he isn’t too worried about the future of his business because people miss the smell of fresh trees in in their homes and always come back.