What is your view on the state of the Christmas tree market?

HW asks growers and retailers whether prices are likely to go up and if there are any shortages this year.

- "There's definitely a shortage of trees in terms of stock available to serve the market.

"Any late wholesale buyers of trees may be disappointed. To my knowledge, there are suppliers still searching for stock to fill orders taken.

"Retail prices are going up fairly substantially to reflect that and we're not seeing resistance from retailers yet, although things are moving so quickly in the money markets that we may yet see a reaction." - Christopher Hood, managing director, Needlefresh

- "We're getting demand from garden centres looking for trees, which suggests growers are doing all right. And we're not getting as many growers as we usually do looking for homes for their trees.

"Those growers who top up sales with imports will see higher price rises than those who grow all their own trees.

"We're looking at 10 per cent rises on average, which is the same as other farming products this year because of the greater inputs going in." - Roger Hay, secretary, British Christmas Tree Growers' Association

- "There may not be the species available that people may hope to buy. We are running out of some trees and may not have the tree in stock that customers want.

"Prices will be more expensive this year. We've had to put prices up because of the euro/pound exchange rate, as has everyone else. We can't give them away.

"Last year there were issues with needle drop because growers cut too soon - this year they will cut a bit later and condense the season." - Sadie Lynes, managing director, Jadecliff

- "Wholesale prices were going up, but we intend to hold retail prices at last year's levels of £45 for a six-foot (1.8m) Nordmann tree.

"I'm sure sales will hold up. People will always try to make the most of Christmas.

"Economic news has been dreadful for the average person but people will still want a good Christmas." - Caroline Owen, director, Scotsdales Garden Centre.


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