CALGARY — You might have to pay a little more for the evergreen scent of a natural Christmas tree this year as droughts and increased demand have put pressure on prices.
Jimmy Downey, president of the Quebec Christmas Tree Growers Association, says his prices are up about 10 per cent this year for the first rise in close to a decade.
He says the increase is because of demand in the Western U.S. after several dry seasons that stunted tree growth there, as well as a younger generation that’s returning to natural trees.
Downey says Eastern Canada should have plenty of trees, but British Columbia, which has imported trees from the U.S. in the past, might see some shortages.
He says the price increase is a relief because labour and fertilizer costs have been rising even as prices stayed flat, forcing smaller or less efficient growers out of the market.
Statistics Canada says the number of hectares devoted to Christmas trees in Canada dropped to 23,787 in 2016 from 28,315 in 2011, while the number of farms fell to 1,872 from 2,381.