Many Midstate families buying Christmas trees despite rising costs

Consumer

WEST HANOVER TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WHTM) — Friday was the first day many Christmas tree farms are open for business this season, but you may be noticing higher prices at checkout.

Finding the perfect Christmas tree isn’t always a quick process, but it’s a yearly tradition for the Bucher family.

“Growing up my wife and I, we both cut our own trees so we wanted to keep that tradition for our children,” Brandon Bucher said.

“Lots of energy, lots of good spirits. People are looking forward to being outside and looking for a tree, bringing their family,” Mark Cassel, president of Cassel’s tree farm said.

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There are lots of people looking for a tree and plenty to go around at Cassel’s Tree Farm but it’s not the case everywhere.

“We were looking and they were horrible at other places for $120 and then we come here and it was $35, $40 for a tree and the experience of being able to cut it down ourself, that was fun,” Michele Moppin said.

The prices can be blamed on a number of issues, including low supply and even effects from the 2008 recession.

“A couple of years ago there was a hurricane in the South that pretty much came up from the Gulf and went directly North and it destroyed a lot of the Christmas trees that are grown in the South,” Cassel said.

That’s an issue because Christmas trees take at least seven years to grow. There are other costs leading to high prices too, including the cost of gas.

“You can’t run a farm without gasoline so, chemicals that are used to keep the trees free of pests and free of disease also have increased,” Cassel said.

Experts say you should expect to pay between 10% and 30% percent more for both live and artificial trees this year.

“I think we all just learn to adapt to it and it’s a couple of extra bucks but the smell of a fresh cut tree in your house, it’s worth the extra couple bucks, and the kids really enjoy it,” Bucher said.

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