Square, in partnership with the National Christmas Tree Association, released a Christmas Tree Calculator and data report, based on Square sales from thousands of Christmas tree farmers and sellers across the country. Using price fluctuations throughout the holiday season, the calculator helps consumers strategically select the best day to buy their tree, based on their region, how long they plan to keep it, and desired budget.
According to Square sales data, the report shows that Christmas tree prices increased 23% from 2015 to 2018, with the average price rising from $62 to $76. Last season alone, prices saw a 5% increase. Industry experts from the National Christmas Tree Association note that the price increase stems from strong consumer demand for real Christmas trees, particularly from millennials, coupled with a tight tree supply and therefore little reason for retailers and growers to offer deep discounts. That said, every family seeking a real tree this season will certainly be able to buy one, Tim O’Connor, Executive Director of the National Christmas Tree Association explains.
Square data shows that the Christmas tree buying season kicks into high gear on Black Friday with an average price of $79, and prices spike on Cyber Monday, reaching $84. For customers seeking a deal, holding out until the week before Christmas could save you up to 29%. Prices for procrastinators hit an all time low on Christmas Eve at $50.
In order to determine the best time to buy a tree in your area, check out Square’s Christmas Tree Calculator, which suggests the ideal date to purchase your real Christmas tree based on region, desired budget, and how long you hope to keep it.
“Year after year, we see continued growth in the number of Christmas trees sold at tree farms,” O’Connor says. He attributes much of this growth to the popularity of agritainment, otherwise known as farm-based entertainment and activities like hayrides, arts and crafts, light shows, pig racing, corn mazes, and more. “With the increased consumer desire for authentic farm experiences, we’re noticing many of our members tap into that cultural trend by creating a space where families can spend an entire afternoon or evening. It’s a way to create new family traditions while putting a face to growers and truly understanding where their trees come from.”
For a seasonal industry like Christmas trees, agritainment is also opening the doors for business owners to diversify revenue streams. Take Michael May, for example, owner of Lazy Acres Farm in Chunky, Mississippi. Since taking over the farm from his parents 19 years ago, May has gradually added new attractions, to create a robust farm experience for his customers, during the Christmas season and beyond.
“With a typical Christmas Tree farm, you get paid once a year. So I’m constantly dreaming up new ways to diversify our income, through all seasons,” May says. “It’s about creating new avenues for us to encourage visitors to come and spend the day, not just select their tree and leave.”
Since taking full ownership of the farm nearly two decades ago, May added a pumpkin patch in the Fall, Easter egg hunts in the Spring, and hosts weddings in the Summer. During the Christmas season, visitors can ride Lazy Acres’ tractor-drawn sleigh into the fields to cut down their own tree, drive through their Christmas light show, spend time at the animal park, or visit Santa’s Workshop, where elves help families decorate Christmas Cookies, design ornaments, and build their own stuffed animals.
Square revolutionized payments in 2009 with Square Reader, making it possible for anyone to accept card payments using a smartphone or tablet. Today, we build tools to empower businesses and individuals to participate in the economy. Sellers use Square to reach buyers online and in-person, manage their business, and access financing. And individuals use Cash App to spend, send, store, and invest money. Square has offices in the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, Ireland, and the UK.
The National Tree Association, founded in 1955, is the national trade association representing the farm- grown Christmas tree industry. NCTA represents hundreds of active member farms, 29 state and regional associations and nearly 4,000 affiliated businesses that grow and sell Christmas trees or provide related services. For information on real Christmas tree selection and care tips, or to find a Christmas tree farm or lot in your area, please visit www.realchristmas