Sidmouth Garden Centre owner Ian Barlow warns Christmas tree growers about 2009 pricing

Christmas tree growers have been warned that garden centres are reluctant to increase prices this year, following a 10% hike in 2008.

Devon-based Sidmouth Garden Centre owner Ian Barlow said: "We're looking forward to Christmas apprehensively. We aim to keep Christmas tree prices the same as last year. Growers tell me prices are going up but I think we will try to keep them the same and we will still sell slightly less. We're ordering now but will finalise at the end of September."

But British Christmas Tree Growers' Association (BCTGA) secretary Roger Hay expects sales to hold up despite the recession this year.

Roger Hay said: "Christmas is something the public do not wish to downgrade. Garden centres will continue to do well with Christmas trees."

He added that 2m Nordmann and Norway spruce could be in short supply this Christmas. Prices hit £50 for 2m-high trees in 2008 after news of potential shortages.

After last year's 10 per cent price rises, Hay said: "We expect prices to hold up — there are no indications things will be different."

 

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