Americans returning to their roots with real Christmas treesNovember 29, 1996
Web posted at: 6:20 p.m. EST
PORTLAND, Maine (CNN) -- Putting their environmental concerns aside, Americans are embracing natural Christmas trees in greater numbers this year.
Sales of fresh trees had slumped in recent years as many consumers switched to the faux version -- partially out of concern that forests were being hurt by the mass harvesting of trees.
But this year, growers say they expect to sell 37 million trees this holiday season, four million more than last year.
"From what we've heard so far, demand is looking good," said Jeff Bender, spokesman for the 1,800-member National Christmas Tree Association.
Some growers speculate that tree recycling -- and the fact that most are grown on tree farms -- are bringing buyers back to the real thing.
"Growing a Christmas tree is no different than growing corn except that it takes eight years to grow that (tree) crop," said Albert Gondeck, owner of North Parish Tree Farm in Turner, Maine.
Sales of real trees have also benefited from parental nostalgia, according to growers.
"Baby boomers are tending to go to real trees again," said Bender. "They have children (and) they want their children to experience the holidays as they experienced them."
Balsam fir, Scotch pine, Douglas fir, Fraser fir, White pine and Norway spruce continue to be among the most popular Christmas tree varieties, according to growers.
Consumers scouting the light-strung tree lots for the perfect pine will be pleased to find that prices have not gone up this year.
According to the National Christmas Tree Association, the average retail price for trees will range between $3.50 and $5.65 per foot of tree -- the same as it was in 1995 and 1994. The average sale-height for a tree is six feet with an average cost per tree of $21 and $34.
Reuters contributed to this report.
Related sites:Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.
© 1996 Cable News Network, Inc.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.