Friday December 2, 2022 | LANGFORD, BC
Seasonal insights by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends
As with the cost of almost everything, the price of fresh-cut Christmas trees at retail outlets has gone up this year.
This is largely due to watering demands during summer droughts as well as supply chain issues pushing up the cost of fuel for transportation.
Retailers in the west shore:
Families are out shopping for fresh cut Christmas trees in the west shore this week. Stores have different offerings and a range of pricing.
Buckerfield’s stores in BC are dealing with the higher price situation for fresh cut Christmas trees, calling it “a considerable price hike” over last year, says Buckerfield’s marketing director Travis Young. But this year they’ve absorbed the price increase, keeping trees at the same retail price as 2021, which is $64.99.
All the trees at Buckerfield’s Langford store on Langford Parkway are between 6 and 7 ft tall, all of them Red Douglas Fir, says Buckerfield’s Langford store manager Scott Finlayson.
The trees are on display outside the main store entrance, with more in stock on the back deck beyond the indoor garden centre. Families can come in to pick their tree in a warm friendly retail atmosphere.
Trees are sourced as locally as possible. This year’s Christmas trees at Buckerfield’s in Langford have been shipped in from Mill Bay here on Vancouver Island. Sourcing locally helps manage the transportation cost factor.
There are lots of Christmas ornaments for sale in the store, as well as shovels and bags of de-icing products to help manage slippery surfaces.
GardenWorks is a popular go-to for a range of trees, this year including Douglas Fir, Noble Fir, Nordman Fir, Fraser Fir and Balsam Fir. Price is dependent on species and height.
At the GardenWorks store on Island Highway in Colwood, a Balsam fir about 5 ft tall is priced at $58 while Noble Fir at 6 to 7 ft tall sells for $118 per tree, and the Fraser Fir at 6 to 7 ft is tagged at $123.
Many of the trees are grown and shipped in from Oregon, where the colder winter growing conditions help tree grow, explained Fraser who works at the Colwood GardenWorks store.
The attractive tree shape is achieved by strategic pruning through the growing season.
Potted Christmas trees can be kept outdoors all year and brought in for a few weeks in the Christmas season, says Fraser.
Smaller potted cedar trees can be transplanted into the garden after the holiday season.
The Colwood store also sells wreaths made mostly from Noble Fir, as well as festive planters with a variety of evergreen boughs.
Range of prices:
Pricing of fresh-cut trees at retailers in the area includes:
- Buckerfield’s – $64.99 (all sizes) | Langford store on Facebook
- GardenWorks: Fraser Fir, Noble Fir, Nordmann Fir, Douglas Fir, ranging from $58 to $150 (at Colwood, Oak Bay & Saanich stores)
- Happy Holidays Christmas Tree Co popup outdoors at Luxton fairgrounds: ($12/ft for Douglas fir; all other species start at $15/ft; some trees over 10 ft tall at $18 to $20/ft)
- Home Depot: $34.98 (5 to 6 ft). Fraser Fir $198.98 (6 to 7 ft / order online only)
- Walmart: (online only) all fresh-cut Fraser Fir & Balsam Fir under $100 are out of stock
Pricing of artificial trees includes:
- Canadian Tire: $49.99 un-lit (6 ft), pre-lit $199.99 (7 ft)
- Costco: almost sold out at the Langford store, one pre-lit type left at $699 (7.5 ft); they try to sell out before December.
- Home Depot: $129 (pre-lit) to $148 range (6.5 to 7.5 ft)
- Real Canadian Superstore: $159.95 (pre-lit, 6 ft)
- Walmart: pre-lit (7 ft) $189.98
If a family is determined to purchase a fresh cut tree, that’s a pretty strong incentive even with a price increase.
Some families make it a holiday tradition to out to buy the tree together.
Most retailers can be fairly assured that their inventory of Christmas trees will sellout in each year’s holiday season.
Fresh tree or artificial?
There really is no answer to the debate of natural tree vs manufactured.
One lasts only a month or two, and the other may last for many years.
The symbolism of a fresh-cut tree is the hope for abundant life, whereas repeat-use of an artificial tree does help with financial considerations.
Fresh-cut trees require some maintenance (watering so they don’t dry out, and safety considerations around lighting and heat sources), and cleaning up any needles that shed from the tree.
Artificial trees require good storage maintenance, but are otherwise fairly maintenance free.
Fresh-cut trees can be chipped for garden use or composting. When an artificial tree is eventually disposed of, it can involve finding appropriate recycling methods for the plastics and metals.
===== ABOUT ISLAND SOCIAL TRENDS:
Island Social Trends is a professional news portal at islandsocialtrends.ca . Fully online since mid-2020, Island Social Trends emerged from the extensive groundwork of previous print publications in the west shore: MapleLine Magazine (2008-2010), Sooke Voice News (2011-2013), and West Shore Voice News (2014-2020).
Since 2008, journalist and editor Mary P Brooke has taken a socioeconomic lens to the news of the west shore and south Vancouver Island region, including BC provincial news, and national news impacts.
Ms Brooke has been covering news of School District 62 (SD62) at the board and committee level — attending nearly all of their full meetings since 2014. She was a trustee candidate (SD62 – Belmont Zone) in the October 2022 election.