MARTINEZ, CA — People in Martinez who prefer fresh-cut Christmas trees — whether they cut trees themselves or buy them from a store lot — should have no trouble finding them by 2022, according to an industry survey of Christmas tree growers trading group.
The Real Christmas Tree Board’s forecast comes after a survey of 55 wholesalers supplying two-thirds of the fresh tree market and 1,500 U.S. adults ages 21 to 49.
“The real Christmas tree industry met demand last year and will meet demand this year,” Marsha Gray, executive director of the Real Christmas Tree Board, said in a press release. “This is essentially a year with no surprises.”
Martinez residents have plenty of options, sortable by zip code and by type, on the Real Christmas Tree Board website. They contain:
There is only one select lot available in Martinez. The Alhambra Christmas Tree Farm at 2647 Reliez Valley Road is open Monday through Friday from 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM and Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM.
The closest seasonal lot to Martinez is 14 ABC Tree Farms at 1765 Galindo Street in Concord.
- Home Depot, 1037 Arnold Drive in Martinez.
- Home Depot, 2019 Meridian Park Boulevard in Concord.
- Lowes, 1935 Arnold Industrial Way in Concord.
Real trees can be more expensive
Trees, like everything else, may cost a little more this year. Tree growers who answered the Real Christmas Tree Board’s survey said growing costs have risen. About 36 percent of respondents said costs increased 11 to 15 percent compared to last year, while 27 percent said costs increased 16 to 20 percent. Another 10 percent said the year-over-year increase in production costs was more than 21 percent.
As a result, 71 percent of growers said they would likely raise wholesale prices. That means trees can cost anywhere from 5 percent to 20 percent or more.
Consumers seem to be responding rapidly to the expected price increases.
“While our survey of growers tells us that wholesale prices are likely to be higher this year for real Christmas trees, our consumer survey tells us that people expected it to be,” Gray said in the press release. “The good news is that fans of real Christmas trees say they believe the trees are worth the price, and they’re willing to pay more this year if necessary to get one – and that’s no surprise.”
Growers’ expectations for a healthy season are also tempered by fears of supply chain disruptions, the top concern of 44 percent of growers. About 35 percent said their biggest concern is that inflationary consumers will cross real Christmas trees off their lists this year. About 21 percent of respondents were concerned about labor availability.
The Origin of Christmas Trees
According to History.com, the origins of the Christmas tree can be traced back to well before the advent of Christianity.
In ancient times it was generally believed that the sun was a god. It seemed sick when daylight dwindled in winter, but evergreens that bloomed in winter were a reminder that the sun would come back strong and lush greenery and warmth would return.
Evergreen trees were seen as a symbol of eternal life among ancient Egyptians, Hebrews and Chinese. Pagans across Europe used evergreens in their homes to represent fertility and new life.
Christmas trees were first used by devout Christians in Germany. The 16th century Protestant reformer Martin Luther is said to have added burning candles to trees. He was writing a sermon when he walked home one winter evening and was struck by the sight of stars twinkling above the evergreens, and recreated the scene in a tree in his family’s main room.