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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

Economy

Jonathan Serrie

Atlanta, GA

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Christmas Tree Sales May Weather Recession

December 15, 2009 - 8:24 AM | by: Jonathan Serrie

Lingering jitters over the economy may have little effect on the purchase of farm grown Christmas trees this year.

Last year, U.S. consumers purchased 28.2 million “real” Christmas trees, marking a 10 percent decline from 2007, according to the National Christmas Tree Association. But the trade group predicts a “very busy” 2009 season, based on a survey showing 35 percent of American consumers plan to buy a farm grown tree for the holidays, compared to 9 percent who plan to buy an artificial Christmas tree.

The Home Depot, the world’s largest retailer of Christmas trees, reports no decline in sales over last year so far. And many tree growers around the country report that initial sales this season have been slightly higher than last year.

Choose and harvest farms remain the most popular place to buy Christmas trees, accounting for 31 percent of all purchases, according to 2008 data from the National Christmas Tree Association. Chain stores come in second at 24 percent, followed by churches and other non-profit groups (18 percent), nurseries and garden centers (11 percent) and retail lots (7 percent).

Oregon leads the nation in Christmas tree harvests (6.9 million in 2007), followed by North Carolina (3.1 million) and Michigan (1.6 million).

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