‘A few extra dollars is well worth it’: Inflation of Christmas trees leads to steeper prices across the Grand Strand

Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 10:43 PM EST
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CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - Christmas trees are a staple in many homes this time of year, and those who favor a real tree may see some drastic price increases when the time comes to pick one out.

As the countdown to Christmas begins, Joseph DiLorenzo counts a few extra dollars out of his wallet for that special Christmas tree.

“Well, having a live Christmas tree is part of the family tradition,” said DiLorenzo, a Carolina Forest resident.

DiLorenzo shared how the memories he had as a little boy allowed him to hold on to the holiday tradition.

For the last four years, the tradition took place at Booth’s Christmas Tree Farm in Conway.

“I could certainly justify spending a few extra dollars for a Christmas tree,” said Dilorenzo. “I mean it’s part of the tradition, part of the holiday, so a few extra dollars is well worth it.”

Dr. Sourav Batabyal, Assistant Professor of Economics at Coast Carolina University, said several factors could be contributing to the high prices of Christmas Trees like the disruption of supply chains, drier weather, and even a slight increase in inflation.

“Because of all those reasons you can expect that Christmas tree prices may go up from 5% to 15% compared to last year,” said Dr. Batabyal.

Tree growers also have to consider raw materials and labor costs, which is why Lauren Booth, Co-owner of Booths Christmas Tree Farm, said she had to raise prices by about 20% with the high demand for fewer trees.

“We tried not to go much over what we were last year but you will see probably a $20 difference probably across the board on what you paid last year versus what you paid this year,” said Booth.

For one family, a generic Christmas tree from a local hardware store was the norm, but this year Veronica and Josh Knight, who recently relocated to the Grand Strand from Virginia, said it’s special as they’re spending the holiday with their new baby.

“Even if the prices have gone up a little bit I’d rather take that money and invest into the community itself,” said Josh Knight. “So I’m okay with splurging a little bit more because you only get this once a year right, It’s only his first Christmas one time you want to make it special and come into a place like this is worse if it is splurging that’s where you want to splurge.”

Booths Christmas Tree Farm started out with about 2,000 trees and is currently at around 600 to 700 in stock. Once all trees are sold, they’ll be closing up shop.