Christmas tree farmers facing increased costs, demand remains high for real trees

If you’re still looking for a real Christmas tree to spruce up your home this holiday season, you may be running out of time.

Christmas Tree Farmers of Ontario (CTFO) said they are seeing an uptick in younger families choosing real trees for their holiday centrepiece. This is one reason why the organization is seeing such a high demand compared to other years. The organization said the trend started during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shirley Brennan is the executive director of CTFO and she said you’ll also see a rise in cost as well if you choose to purchase a real tree.

“The average price went up about 5 per cent for the farm,” said Brennan. “That is strictly because of the cost of farming. fertilizer, fuel for our equipment and even insurance has gone up,” said Brennan.

Brennan said it takes about 10-14 years to grow a tree.

“They’re not being paid for the tree for that length of time,” she said. “If you and I had to wait 10-14 years for a paycheque, we may not be in farming.”

According to the CTFO, Christmas tree farms have seen a steady decrease in Canada and across Ontario.

“In Canada, we’ve seen a decrease of about 1,000 Christmas tree farms and in Ontario it’s a similar situation. It’s because of no succession plans and nobody to take it over,” she said.

There are more than 420 Christmas tree farms in Ontario.

With files from The Canadian Press

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