Are Baby Boomers Killing the Christmas Tree?
People are picking artificial trees over the real deal
In not keeping with the Christmas spirit, tree production has decreased this year. According to The Washington Post, the cause of the decrease in production can be traced back to the Great Recession, when farmers limited planting trees as the result of slow sales. Now the tree industry has even bigger obstacles to contend with.
“According to the federal Census of Agriculture, which used the earliest year for which data are available, Christmas tree production fell nearly 30 percent from 2002 to 2017,” writes The Washington Post. The cause? Baby boomers. Okay, it’s not entirely their fault since more Americans are making the decision not to put up Christmas trees, and those who do are opting for artificial ones. But boomers are leading the shift towards artificial trees, due in large part to the convenience they provide and the fact that they can be reused.
The appeal of artificial trees also lies in the fact that they require less maintenance (no watering or having to constantly sweep up needles) and they pose little risk of going up in flames.
Yet the biggest threat to the Christmas tree industry is the fizzling out of tradition. As kids grow up and flee the nest, a trip to the tree farm loses much of its appeal and practicality. But tree farms and growers remain hopeful that as baby boomers’ children grow up, they’ll carry out the tradition with their own kids.
“Many families want to have authentic experiences, do good things for the environment and know the story behind the products they buy. Real trees match up completely with that; a fake tree made from PVC plastic in a Chinese factory does not,” Tim O’Connor, executive director of the National Christmas Tree Association, told the Post.
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