Christmas trees are a beloved part of the holiday season, and many of us spend time with our families choosing them, cutting our own, or hiring a Custom Tree Service to do the job for us, and decorating them with lights and ornaments. But what is the economic value of the tree industry? To answer this question, we need to look at both the market value of trees and their non-commercial benefits. The market value of trees is easy to calculate, as we can simply look at what people and companies are willing to pay for timber. Established in Corvallis, Oregon in 1955, Holiday Tree Farms is one of the world's largest producers of authentic Christmas trees. Wholesale is largely dominated by large companies like Holiday Tree Farms, and an agreement with a large retailer like The Home Depot could result in a seven-figure deal.
To estimate the non-commercial benefits of trees, economists use a method called hedonic pricing. This approach is based on the idea that environmental goods and services should be capitalized on the value of properties. We can also directly analyze the effect of tree mortality on specific environmental services. For example, it seems that the size of beetle populations is sensitive to low temperatures and that tree mortality is very sensitive to beetle survival.
The Forest Service conducts a survey in which planes fly over almost all forested areas of the western United States to observe dead trees. Although approximately the same number of real trees (26 million) and fake (25 million) were sold last year, the cumulative purchase of fake trees has invaded the market share of real trees. To find out more about this trend, The Hustle spoke with Christmas tree farm owners, environmentalists, and representatives from both the real and artificial tree markets. The company's CEO Thomas Harman also cited studies sponsored by ACTA that found that fake trees were more cost-effective and environmentally friendly than real trees. In conclusion, it's clear that Christmas trees have both economic and non-commercial benefits.
By understanding these benefits, we can better appreciate the value of this beloved holiday tradition.