In One Chart: Americans spend over $1 billion a year on Christmas trees; here’s where they buy them

The majority of people in the U.S. decorate Christmas trees each year, and they are shelling out more and more cash to do so.

Some 78% of U.S. households will display Christmas trees this year, an American Christmas Tree Association (ACTA) study found. The ACTA is a nonprofit founded by an artificial tree company executive with a mission to “help families choose the best Christmas tree for them.” It has been accused by the National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA), the official trade organization for the natural Christmas tree industry, of discouraging people from buying natural Christmas trees, but claims “there is no such thing as a bad Christmas tree.” (The two organizations are not on friendly terms.)

The NCTA found that the average price for a natural tree is on the rise; it was $ 50.82 in 2015 — a 22% increase from 2014 and a 28% increase from 2008. These prices have increased over the past five years and may spike higher this year due to droughts and tree shortages after growers have left the market, according to Consumerist, a subsidiary of Consumer Reports.

For specialty and exotic kinds of trees, some people are shelling out as much as $ 1,000, including delivery and set up. In 2015, $ 1.32 billion was spent on real trees — 32% of which were cut down and purchased from tree farms and 26% were bought from tree lots and other stores.

A whopping 81% of Christmas trees in U.S. homes are artificial, according to a survey conducted by the ACTA and Nielsen. The price of an artificial tree ranges from $ 50 to $ 100, said Jami Warner, ACTA’s executive director, and ACTA surveys show people are keeping the same artificial tree for more years than they did in the past.

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Consumers are increasingly purchasing multiple trees to put throughout the house rather than keeping one tree as the holiday centerpiece, ACTA added. Regardless of what tree best fits your needs, Warner said one of the most important steps is to keep it in a fire-safe location and water it daily if it is a natural tree.

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