Americans turn to Real Trees over Artificial due to Covid-19

Christmas+tree+purchased+from+Home-Deport+to+celebrate+the+holidays.+Photo+courtesy+of+Megan+Robinson.

Christmas tree purchased from Home-Deport to celebrate the holidays. Photo courtesy of Megan Robinson.

Megan Robinson

With about 69 million Americans purchasing Christmas trees every year, projections suggest that overall tree sales will surpass previous years. A survey taken by the National Retail Federation states that the majority of U.S. consumers say they’re more interested in holiday decorations and seasonal items than usual this year due to the pandemic.

With 82% of all Christmas trees being artificial (American Christmas Tree Association), one would think that sales for real trees would be going down. However, with Covid-19 keeping families indoors for the past few months, many Americans are looking for a real tree. Their reasoning?

Various trends are driving the uptick in interest. More Americans are remaining at home for this special season due to the pandemic’s limitations and are understanding that they will be home to water a new cut tree. With celebrations, parades, and other holiday festivities dropped, families are searching for a safe way to still create special holiday memories, finding keeping a healthy tree a great option.

Marsha Gray, executive director of the Christmas Tree Promotion Board stated, “Yes, it’s a product, it’s a decoration that you put in your home, but getting a real tree involves the choosing, the hunting for it, the family outing. It really is a memory maker, it’s a day you spend together, and it really becomes much bigger than the tree itself. It’s making family memories and people really seem to gravitate to that right now,” (ABC.7, Artificial Christmas tree owners turn to the real thing amid coronavirus pandemic).

From independent tree-growers to the big chains such as Home-Depot, there’s a lot on the line. This is their big break, especially with sales having gone down the past few years. 2020 is the “first year in a long time that growers made a reasonable profit,” according to a report from the Christmas Tree Association.

Many tree-growers also reported more people purchasing trees in November than in recent years. “The season is running approximately six to seven days ahead of what we’ve seen in the past,” said McKenzie Cook, who typically ships about 2 million trees a year combined from farms in Organ and North Carolina. Getting ahead of the game seems to be most American’s mindset.

Younger people are also getting trees for the first time in years. Most couldn’t afford it/have the space for a tree, but new experiences are coming in waves. New buyers are often nervous about purchasing a tree and bringing it into their home, Marsha Grey notes.

Oregon, the country’s No. 1 provider of new cut trees, hopes to deliver almost 6 million evergreens this season to places as distant as Japan and China. Other top tree exporters are Washington state, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. It’s a special occasion for many families this year, and having a bright new tree at home with one to decorate and smile around with the family will certainly bring many happy memories.