It’s the year of the tree-buying season. But you’ll probably pay more to have your Christmas tree, this year.
Peak buying season is coming up just after Thanksgiving and lasting through the first three days after Christmas, according to data from sales tracker Mastercard Advisors.
Most Americans will spend an average of about $70 to buy an 8-foot artificial tree compared with $70 for a 5-foot real tree, Mastercard’s SpendingPulse data showed. But for the first time, inflation has outpaced real-dollar pricing growth, forcing most consumers to spend more for the same tree. Mastercard Advisors found that inflation in real dollars — which adjusts for inflation and population growth — has outpaced inflation for artificial trees for the last four years.
“The cost of artificial trees is benefiting from fewer trees being sold this year and customers having the extra money to spend,” said Corrine Sklar, Mastercard vice president for consumer experience and insights.
Consumers are also getting the details wrong about real trees. They often believe real trees can withstand a wet or dry summer — a false assumption, Sklar said. In fact, an average real tree needs more irrigation and fertilization than an artificial tree, according to Mastercard. At a time when outdoor Christmas traditions are dying out and the tree-selling industry is shrinking, the potential gap between real and artificial is all the more worrisome, the survey found.
Last month, Meriwether Lewis died and a Christmas tree farm in western Kansas collapsed.