Agnese Kristapsone, head of the Mārupe plants center Blīdene, told LR that demand for Christmas trees fell by 10% to 15%. In addition, this year, people made more choices of forest spruces, which are cheaper than silver spruce, which, in turn, was more demanded in previous years.
"If we're talking about prices, then the forest spruce is at the same price as it was before. But white spruces have become more expensive by 5%-10%. This is due both to rising prices in Europe, as it is an imported product, as well as transport and logistics costs. However, white spruces are still chosen because they last a long time, they don't shed, and their needles are softer," Kristapsone said.
Inflation has also increased the costs for spruce growers.
Kristapsone said: "Everything is rising, but we thought very much this year to keep prices at a reasonable level."
On the other hand, the tree nursery "Dzērves" only sell trees in pots. Overall, over several years, demand for spruces which can then be planted outside has increased. Owners Māris and Maruta Kaminski said demand fell slightly this year.
"There are a still a couple of days when people buy the most. But compared to last year, at the moment, it could be some 10% drop in demand. The price of sales for small spruce has increased by 15%, and the price of larger spruce has increased by 18%," the owners said.
"Fertilizers had a huge increase in prices, plant protection products and fuel for one moment. Also, electricity is more expensive, but we have greenhouses in which we grow small trees and then put in pots, and then on the field."
The owners of “Dzērves” also said that in the past they had could not grow as many trees as were ordered, but this year there would probably be a surplus. At the same time, spruce growers are optimistic about the future and are considering exporting trees in pots.
If you don't feel like buying a tree but would still like to have one, you can get it. The rules how to collect a tree legally are outlined in our other story.