Why Millennials are buying more Christmas trees than ever

Christmas tree sellers across the country are expecting an influx of new and returning customers this holiday season after experiencing a surge in sales last...

Posted: Nov 29, 2019 3:58 AM
Updated: Nov 29, 2019 4:00 AM

Christmas tree sellers across the country are expecting an influx of new and returning customers this holiday season after experiencing a surge in sales last year.

Industry insiders say the increase in tree purchases is fueled primarily by Millennials, who are settling down and starting families of their own -- in one form or another.

Last week, the National Christmas Tree Association released findings from its latest consumer survey. The trade group, which represents thousands of Christmas tree growers nationwide, hired Nielsen/Harris researchers to interview 2,020 US adults last January, just as the holiday season ended.

Their study found a 20% spike in the purchase of real Christmas trees -- evergreen pine trees -- and a 12% rise in artificial tree purchases in 2018.

The association's study found that last year American adults bought about 5.4 million more real Christmas trees and 2.5 million more artificial trees than they did in 2017. NCTA seasonal spokesperson Doug Hundley said most of those new purchases were made by Millennials, adults born between the early 1980s and the mid 1990s.

"The Millennial generation is now of the age where they're settling down, getting married, having kids and turning to real trees to build their own family traditions," Hundley told CNN Business. "We've been looking at that demographic for some time and expecting this to happen."

The NCTA's competitor is the American Christmas Tree Association, which represents the nation's artificial tree producers, and whose members have also experienced a surge in sales in recent years. ACTA executive director Jami Warner attributes the increase to improved economic conditions.

The Christmas tree industry took a major hit in 2008, the beginning of the Great Recession, when many Americans going through financial crises of their own and opted not to buy any trees.

Now, more than a decade later, many Americans have recovered from that downturn and are even purchasing more than one tree to decorate their homes, according to Warner, who said that Millennials appear to be behind the Christmas tree revival.

"We agree with that," Warner told CNN Business. "What we don't agree with is that Millennials are buying more real trees. They're buying real and artificial. They're buying more trees, period."

While Millennials are less likely to own a home than Gen Xers and Baby Boomers at the same age, Jessica Lautz, vice president of demographics and behavioral insight for the National Association of Realtors, said the real estate industry has experienced a recent rise in such homebuyers. These young adults accounted for 37% of home purchasers in 2018, the largest homebuyer group last year, according to an NAR study released in April.

Lautz said Millennial homebuyers are less likely to form "traditional" nuclear families than previous generations. Many are married couples with children, but others are young couples with pets. Some are friends or simply roommates who prioritize owning a home over paying rent.

But what most of them have in common, she said, is a generational obsession with sharing photos on social media. "It's not a stretch to me to see that they would want a Christmas tree up to put on Instagram for themselves or their families," Lautz said.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 177134

Reported Deaths: 2467
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah35310570
Washington23704229
Marion20393299
Clackamas15557204
Lane11802144
Jackson10077129
Umatilla800083
Deschutes731272
Linn422263
Yamhill413675
Klamath357159
Polk348452
Malheur343358
Josephine310062
Douglas306566
Benton277719
Jefferson207732
Coos198631
Columbia156126
Union141824
Lincoln130520
Wasco130428
Hood River113529
Morrow108415
Clatsop9078
Crook89519
Baker86714
Curry6049
Tillamook5883
Grant4304
Lake4177
Harney3156
Wallowa1585
Gilliam571
Sherman571
Wheeler261
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3725088

Reported Deaths: 61193
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles122999823702
Riverside2976314547
San Bernardino2951314569
San Diego2756313681
Orange2692584902
Santa Clara1173792019
Kern1080611333
Sacramento1017871651
Fresno1007681650
Alameda856521477
Ventura803601002
San Joaquin717351334
Contra Costa67157782
Stanislaus606491035
Tulare49443831
Monterey43301364
San Mateo41251560
San Francisco36117529
Santa Barbara33926445
Solano32086243
Merced31289453
Sonoma29734312
Imperial28024719
Kings22781245
Placer21957283
San Luis Obispo20991257
Madera16301240
Santa Cruz15719204
Marin13868227
Yolo13581200
Shasta11747219
Butte11619196
El Dorado9797109
Napa971579
Sutter9299109
Yuba612744
San Benito598863
Lassen567924
Tehama544556
Nevada448975
Tuolumne408664
Mendocino399647
Humboldt365938
Amador363146
Lake341843
Glenn235925
Colusa220416
Calaveras206252
Siskiyou196521
Inyo141838
Del Norte12907
Mono12744
Plumas6936
Modoc4904
Mariposa4297
Trinity3985
Sierra1100
Alpine880
Unassigned470
Medford
Partly Cloudy
47° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 45°
Brookings
Cloudy
44° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 44°
Medford
Partly Cloudy
47° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 45°
Medford
Partly Cloudy
47° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 45°
Klamath Falls
Clear
30° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 30°
Warm and windy Thursday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events

Latest Video

Image

Wednesday, April 21st Evening Weather

Image

Wednesday, April 21 afternoon weather

Image

Tuesday, April 20th Evening Weather

Image

Tuesday, April 20 Morning Weather

Image

Monday, April 19th Evening Weather

Image

Sunday, April 18th Overnight Weather

Image

Raiders sweep No. 23 College of Idaho, extend win streak to 13

Image

Saturday, April 17 evening weather

Image

Saturday, April 17 morning weather

Image

New Southern Oregon Speedway promotors in dash to prepare track