Season of Savings: Real or fake Christmas tree?

Reporter: Andryanna Sheppard
Published: Updated:

Now that Thanksgiving is in the past, many families are looking for the perfect Christmas tree.

But, is a real one worth it?

The smell and feel of a real Christmas tree brings families back to lots every year but the dollar signs this year are enough to steer Robert Smith to the artificial tree aisle.

“Prices, they aren’t about the same anymore,” said Robert Smith, of Fort Myers. “They last longer and I can put them up.”

The average cost of a real tree was $70 last year, according to the National Christmas Tree Association.

Now experts say that same spruce, fir or pine could set you back about $80 to $100.

Here in Southwest Florida, you’ll be lucky to find a five or 6-foot tree for that price. WINK News says some that cost around $150.

The executive director of the real Christmas Tree Board Marsha Gray said inflation is again the culprit behind the higher prices.

“The height of the tree and the tree species are going to impact the price of that tree,” Gray said.

But you can find fake trees of the same height for nearly half the price.

National Tree Company CEO Chris Butler said there is plenty to go around.

Last year, shipping delays from producers in China meant some trees didn’t show up until after the holidays.

Now stores have a surplus to sell and many have discounts.

“I think from a promotional perspective you’ll see anything from 25 to 50 to 60% off at certain retailers this year,” Butler said.

WINK News founds pre-lit artificial trees on sale for as low as $30.

Still, Smith wonders if he’ll get a tree at all this year.

“I’d rather hold the money,” Smith said.

Nothing compares to the smell of a real tree, except for the smell of the money saved in your wallet. Plus, buying a fake one this year means pulling it out of storage next year.

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