By Paula Ebben

CAMBRIDGE (CBS) – The price of one popular type of Christmas tree is on the way up, and one local seller wants his customers to know.

A lot of people will be shopping for that perfect tree after Thanksgiving. It may also be harder to find Christmas wreaths this year as well. You can blame it on economics, and the weather.

At Pemberton Farms in Cambridge, Mark Saidnawey got his first shipment of Christmas trees Monday. “My family’s been selling trees from back in the 30’s, when we first started,” he says.

Mark Saidnawey at Pemberton Farms in Cambridge (WBZ-TV)

But this year, Mark is seeing prices go up. “And it’s this guy’s fault right here,” he says pointing to a Fraser fir.

Fraser fir is becoming the go to Christmas tree, edging out balsam. That’s because of Fraser’s blue underside, and because it doesn’t drop its needles as quickly. “You give it the old needle test, they hold up a lot longer,” Mark says.

But planting hasn’t kept up with demand, in part because during the recession, growers cut back, and since it takes about 10 years for a tree to mature, they’re behind. There was also an early frost in Canada where most of these trees are grown which damaged a lot of them.

Fraser Firs at Pemberton Farms in Cambridge (WBZ-TV)

“People like myself are just allocated a certain amount, and the result is price increases of over 30%.”

That means a 7 foot Fraser will sell for about $80 at Pemberton Farm while the same size balsam will go for $65. But the good news is, you’ll find plenty of balsam’s out there.

“I just got word yesterday that there’ll be a wreath shortage as well,” Mark says. Heavy snow in Canada also means farmers can’t get out to the trees to cut the branches for wreaths.

Of course, Christmas tree prices also depend on where you shop. Some big retailers we spoke to say they are well stocked, and that prices won’t be much higher than last year.

Paula Ebben

  1. Mark Harnett says:

    Paula, we are Mistletoe Christmas Tree Farm, located in Stow, MA. We have seen the same impact on wreath supply, there is definitely a shortage this year due to that weather in Canada. And our prices on Frasers did increase this year for pre-cut trees (we sell our own cut your own trees here as well). And it is definitely accurate that the Balsams lose needles faster… :) We liked your story, it was encouraging to know that we weren’t the only Farm out there with these issues.

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