A three-year study on Christmas tree sales in the First State is wrapping up at the end of this holiday season.
The Delaware Christmas Tree Growers’ Association received $17,042 through the USDA Farm Bill in 2016.
The funds were intended to enhance the competitiveness of Delaware’s specialty crop industry, and state officials decided to use them to examine tree sales.
Rosanne Conlon owns Turning Point Farms in Hartly and is the Tree Growers’ Association co-president. She says she has been tracking how various advertising venues correlate with the association’s overall tree sales.
“We need the data from 2018 and then we will have three years that we will track sales and percentages of change,” said Conlon. “So we will have some indicator of where our market is and where it is heading.”
Conlon says tree sales on her farm have gone up over the course of the study. She says this season got off to a quick start and her inventory is now depleted.
“I have about 10-12 acres of trees and I’m just amazed that they continue to come in and find a tree because I’ve seen a lot of trees march out of here already,” she said.
But Conlon notes the number of tree growers in the state has gone from 30 to about half that number since the start of the study.
She also says weather events in North Carolina and Pennsylvania have made some trees non-native to Delaware, like frasier firs and canaan firs, harder to get this year.