Christmas Tree Economics: Are Baby Boomers Killing the Christmas Tree Industry?

by Max - last update on
Christmas Tree

You’ve probably heard a few of these before…

Millennials are killing the beer industry. Millennials are killing the napkin industry. Millennials are killing the cereal industry.

Those are just a few, but if you want to see more, Business Insider compiled a list of 19 industries that are dying supposedly at the hands of millennials.

How’s this for a reversal? Are baby boomers killing the Christmas tree industry?

With the holiday spirit in full swing, Trees.com conducted a survey of 1,000 Americans regarding their Christmas tree buying habits.

Are people more likely to buy real or fake Christmas trees? How much do they spend on either? Is the tradition of Christmas trees bad for the environment?

We found the answers to all of these questions and more, while also breaking everything down by generation.

Interestingly, our study found baby boomers are less likely to get real Christmas trees compared to millennials and also spend the least on both real and fake Christmas trees.

Baby Boomers Are the Least Likely to Buy Real Christmas Trees

First, we wanted to see how Christmas tree habits varied by generation. 917 out of 1,000 total respondents indicated they are either buying a real Christmas tree this holiday season or buying/reusing a fake Christmas tree this holiday season.

Out of those 917 respondents, check out what percentage of them are getting a real Christmas tree compared to the percentage of those getting a fake tree for the holidays:

Believe it or not, baby boomers are actually the least likely to get a real Christmas tree. Within that generation, 47% are getting a real tree in 2020 compared to 53% using an artificial tree.

In fact the younger the generations get, the more likely they are to be using real Christmas trees during the holidays. For example, 61% of Generation X is buying a real Christmas tree for the holidays this year, while 64% of millennials and 73% of Generation Z is doing the same.

Not only are baby boomers the least likely to be buying real Christmas trees, they are also the cheapest when it comes to how much they spend on both real and fake trees.

Baby Boomers Spending the Least on Both Real & Fake Trees

Next, we analyzed what each generation is spending on either a real or fake Christmas tree in 2020:

Generally speaking and generation-by-generation, Americans are spending more on real Christmas trees ($190) than fake ones ($119). When you consider that fake Christmas trees can be reused year-after-year, it’s clear which option is the more affordable one.

In terms of real Christmas tree spending, baby boomers are spending the least this year ($105), followed chronologically by Generation X ($181), millennials ($193), and Generation Z ($233).

It’s interesting that younger generations are more prone to splurging on real trees because they are likely to have less discretionary income.

When it comes to fake Christmas tree spending, baby boomers are once again the most frugal ($86), followed by Generation Z ($91), Generation X ($108), and millennials ($133).

Americans Are Undecided On If Cutting Down Christmas Trees is Harmful to the Environment

In 2020, it’s somewhat surprising that there hasn’t been more talk about the concept of cutting down Christmas trees and how that might be harmful to the environment.

Here’s what our respondents think:

Amongst all respondents, 39% believe the concept of cutting down real Christmas trees is harmful for the environment, compared to 43% who do not believe there is any harm, and 18% who are not sure either way.

The answers by generation were not surprising, as younger generations are more likely to think the tradition of Christmas trees is harmful for the environment while older generations are less likely to think the same.

For example, 23% of baby boomers think the tradition of real Christmas trees is harmful for the environment compared to 34% of Generation X, 42% of millennials, and 47% of Generation Z.

Survey Results

Survey results are based on an online survey of 1,000 adult Americans conducted on December 4th, 2020.

1. Did/will you buy a real Christmas tree this holiday season?

  • Yes (58%) (respondents then only answered questions 2-6,13)
  • No (42%) (respondents then only answered questions 7-13)

2. How much did you/will you spend on your real Christmas tree this holiday season?

  • The average amount spent was $190.

3. What percent of your total holiday spending is going towards your real Christmas tree this holiday season? (Percent please)

  • The average percent was 29%.

4. Where did/will you buy your real Christmas tree this holiday season?

  • A chain store like Home Depot or Lowes that has pre-cut trees brought in. (46%)
  • A boutique local store that has pre-cut trees brought in. (23%)
  • A farm or nursery where I can cut the tree myself. (27%)
  • Other/None of the above (3%)

5. What is the biggest reason you are buying a real Christmas tree this holiday season?

  • I like the smell. (27%)
  • It puts me in the holiday spirit. (33%)
  • It’s tradition. (29%)
  • The pandemic has given me the time to buy a real Christmas tree. (5%)
  • I could never bring myself to buying a fake Christmas tree. (4%)
  • Other/None of the above (2%)

6. Have you ever used a fake Christmas tree during the holiday season?

  • Yes, and I will never do it again. (14%)
  • Yes, I just like real Christmas trees better. (53%)
  • Yes, this is actually the first year I am using a real Christmas tree. (16%)
  • No, and I never will. (11%)
  • No, but maybe one day. (5%)

7. Will you be buying a fake Christmas tree this holiday season or did you buy a fake Christmas tree in the past that you are using again this year?

  • Yes (80%) (respondents then answered questions 8-13)
  • No (20%) (respondents then only answered question 13)

8. How much did you spend or will you spend on your fake Christmas tree?

  • The average amount spent was $119.

9. What is the biggest reason you are using a fake Christmas tree this holiday season?

  • Fake Christmas trees are so much easier than real Christmas trees. (48%)
  • Real Christmas trees are too messy. (14%)
  • Fake Christmas trees are more budget-friendly over time. (27%)
  • Using real Christmas trees for the holidays is bad for the environment. (5%)
  • Other/None of the above (6%)

10. Have you ever used a real Christmas tree during the holiday season?

  • Yes, and I will never do it again. (18%)
  • Yes, I just like fake Christmas trees better. (38%)
  • Yes, this is actually the first year I am using a fake Christmas tree. (9%)
  • No, and I never will. (17%)
  • No, but maybe one day. (18%)

11. Did you/will you order your fake Christmas tree online?

  • Yes (31%)
  • No (69%)

12. How many years have you had your fake Christmas tree for?

  • This is the first year. (17%)
  • 1 to 3 years (45%)
  • 3 to 5 years (19%)
  • 5 to 10 years (8%)
  • More than 10 years (11%)

13. Do you think the tradition of chopping down real Christmas trees to be used in houses during the holiday season is bad for the environment?

  • Yes (39%)
  • No (43%)
  • Not sure/I’d rather not say (18%)

Methodology

This data was compiled via an online survey that was paid for by Trees.com and conducted by online survey platform Pollfish. 1,000 adult Americans (ages 18 and up) were surveyed on the questions. The survey was conducted on December 4th, 2020.

Add new comment

Your email address will not be published.