Author Topic: The $7,000 Christmas Tree  (Read 8345 times)

ShavinItForLater

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The $7,000 Christmas Tree
« on: December 12, 2013, 02:00:23 PM »
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-7000-christmas-tree-2013-12-12?link=MW_Nav_PF

I especially liked this part:

Quote
It also doesn’t mean that a $1,000 tree — or even a $7,000 fully decorated one — is a rip-off. As tree pros point out, the larger the tree, the more time it will take to grow and the more tending it will require over the years (in short, time equals money in the Christmas tree business). Plus, larger trees require more space on delivery trucks, meaning the cost of shipping to the lot has to be factored in. “You’re probably putting one tree on the truck instead of 30,” says Doug Fox, a professor and forestry specialist at Unity College in Maine.

kms

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Re: The $7,000 Christmas Tree
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2013, 02:42:38 PM »
We've quit the Christmas tree nonsense a couple of years ago. Instead, we have a large yucca palm tree in the living room that we sort of decorate (some tinsel and glass ornaments) and that's it. I never really bought into the "thou shalt buy an overpriced cut down dead tree that thou shalt decorate with surprisingly expensive ornaments, then throw it all out less than two weeks later" so-called tradition. To me, that's a waste of money.

dragoncar

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Re: The $7,000 Christmas Tree
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2013, 03:07:01 PM »
The last few years, Costco had some $20 trees.  They were a good height for an 8 ft. ceiling (maybe 5-6 feet?).  It was awesome, but I don't know if they still have them (I don't get a tree but my parents do).  The catch was that they were all wrapped up.  You couldn't really tell before hand if they were stupid looking (although Costco would probably take a dud back).

Honestly for $20 I'd get a tree if I had a family.  I love the way they look and smell.  Maybe I'll go get some tree trimmings for a wreath or something.

Rural

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Re: The $7,000 Christmas Tree
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2013, 07:31:17 AM »
Good Lord. Given that they say that most of the trees are sourced from North Carolina, you could probably, as an alternative, buy the tree alive and in situ, with the acre it's growing on, for the same price.

MrsPete

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Re: The $7,000 Christmas Tree
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2013, 07:59:30 AM »
7K sounds like an okay price to me . . . For the tree in front of Rockefeller Center or perhaps the White House. 

For the rest of us, trees are available as cheaply as $20.  Not a bad price for something that's enjoyed so intensely for those couple weeks.  And you can buy an artificial tree after the season for $20-40 and use it for the next 10-15 years. 

Having some farming background, I'll side with those who say, yes, growing a larger tree does tie up the land for a longer amount of time (preventing you from harvesting perhaps two additional trees from that spot) , does take more skill to cut and transport.  And if the tree becomes infected by parasites in year 4 , you can never sell it and you've lost four years.  BUT that is all a bit exaggerated.  A tree farmer needs the land and needs to attend to pruning /shaping the maturing trees for minutes each month.  Christmas tree growing is considerably less labor intensive than other crops. 

Jack

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Re: The $7,000 Christmas Tree
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2013, 12:03:00 PM »
I'm missing something here... why does a decorated Christmas tree cost more than $0 (the price of an artificial tree and ornaments handed down from parents)?

imustachemystash

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Re: The $7,000 Christmas Tree
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2013, 08:01:03 PM »
$7,000!!! Wow, imagine what else that money could buy! I love the smell of a real tree, and we have 2 small children and so we splurged and bought a $30 tree at Fred Meyer with a coupon. 

Albert

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Re: The $7,000 Christmas Tree
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2013, 01:35:52 AM »
I wouldn't be surprised if ca 10 m high tree we have in the company reception area cost something like that.

dragoncar

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Re: The $7,000 Christmas Tree
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2013, 12:10:22 AM »
I'm missing something here... why does a decorated Christmas tree cost more than $0 (the price of an artificial tree and ornaments handed down from parents)?

Uhh... that's like saying why does a car cost more than $0 (the price of a car handed down from parents)

Jack

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Re: The $7,000 Christmas Tree
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2013, 04:50:24 PM »
I'm missing something here... why does a decorated Christmas tree cost more than $0 (the price of an artificial tree and ornaments handed down from parents)?

Uhh... that's like saying why does a car cost more than $0 (the price of a car handed down from parents)

The differences are that:
  • artificial trees don't really have chance to wear out since they're used only seasonally
  • by the time kids move out and want a tree the parents tend to be tired of dealing with it, so they don't have to buy a new one to replace it
  • With ~2 children per family (on average) in the US, if one of those children inherits their parents' tree and the other inherits a tree from their in-laws, then there is no net increase in the number of trees needed from one generation to the next (again, on average).

dragoncar

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Re: The $7,000 Christmas Tree
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2013, 06:35:10 PM »
I'm missing something here... why does a decorated Christmas tree cost more than $0 (the price of an artificial tree and ornaments handed down from parents)?

Uhh... that's like saying why does a car cost more than $0 (the price of a car handed down from parents)

The differences are that:
  • artificial trees cars don't really have chance to wear out since they're used only seasonally occasionally
  • by the time kids move out and want a tree car the parents tend to be tired of dealing with it, so they don't have to buy a new one to replace it
  • With ~2 children per family (on average) in the US, if one of those children inherits their parents' tree car and the other inherits a tree car from their in-laws, then there is no net increase in the number of trees cars needed from one generation to the next (again, on average).

Eric

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Re: The $7,000 Christmas Tree
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2013, 06:44:38 PM »
I'm missing something here... why does a decorated Christmas tree cost more than $0 (the price of an artificial tree and ornaments handed down from parents)?

You have to factor in the incredible smell of a real tree.  Luckily the cheap ones and expensive ones smell the same.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2013, 06:46:41 PM by Eric »

Catherine

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Re: The $7,000 Christmas Tree
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2013, 12:43:18 AM »
I was spending time with my aunt last month who likes to window shop and we went into a fancy schmancy bobbles and knickknacks store that was filled with gorgeous themed Christmas trees. Cowboy, peacock, ballerina, you name it. They were really impressive.

We started talking to one of the salesladies and she told us they were always redecorating because people would come in and buy up a whole tree with decorations. Just $4000 "which really isn't much when you think about it." Direct quote.

I thought about it and thought about it, but I still can't figure how 4x my monthly rent isn't that much.

They really were amazing to look at though.

MilwaukeeStubble

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Re: The $7,000 Christmas Tree
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2013, 09:29:06 AM »
I'm missing something here... why does a decorated Christmas tree cost more than $0 (the price of an artificial tree and ornaments handed down from parents)?

Uhh... that's like saying why does a car cost more than $0 (the price of a car handed down from parents)

The differences are that:
    • artificial trees don't really have chance to wear out since they're used only seasonally
    [/b]
    • by the time kids move out and want a tree the parents tend to be tired of dealing with it, so they don't have to buy a new one to replace it
    • With ~2 children per family (on average) in the US, if one of those children inherits their parents' tree and the other inherits a tree from their in-laws, then there is no net increase in the number of trees needed from one generation to the next (again, on average).

    Not to nitpick, but artificial trees absolutely do wear out.  Obviously not nearly as quickly as real trees, but too quickly to be passed between generations in any significant way.

    My parents have had an artificial tree for the past 12 years (did buy it used, so not sure how old it actually is but less than 20 yrs.) and the needles are starting to fall out.  More importantly, many of the branches are getting too weak to hold some of the heavier ornaments.

    That still doesn't take into account those crappy pre-lit trees that seem to be taking over the world, which certainly won't last more than a few years due to more moving parts, lost/dead bulbs, and the general cheapness of many of the designs.  A good quality artificial tree could probably last as many as 40 years but then the absolute most you'll get out of it is 2 generations, and that's assuming:

    1. Empty nesters don't want to have a tree
    2. Kids don't want a tree until they themselves are married
    3. Kids and parents live in similar size/arranged dwellings

    None of which are true with the people I know.

    galliver

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    Re: The $7,000 Christmas Tree
    « Reply #14 on: December 17, 2013, 10:38:45 AM »
    Love my little $30 tree from the hardware store for reminding me that the holidays are near even though I'm more focused on finals (grad student). Instant mood boost! It's pretty sturdy, so I expect it to last many years. The tree scent I remember from my childhood in Russia, but we have never found it with a farmed tree here in the US, so now I just settle for Bath & Body Works pine-scented candles. Ornaments (including lights, tinsel, etc) were probably $30 spread over 2 years, and the tree feels "done" now. Will probably "graduate" to a new/bigger tree in 5 years or so with a real house/job/family. Can't *imagine* spending more than like $500 on a (domestic) artificial tree, ever (and that should be a damn good one that will last DECADES). I would probably stick to under $200 and it would work just fine (my family's tree is at 18 years, probably 15 years of actual use in there, and I'm sure it was on the cheaper end).  A live/dead tree I feel like over $50 is ridiculous. Although clearly there's a market! *smh*

    MgoSam

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    Re: The $7,000 Christmas Tree
    « Reply #15 on: December 17, 2013, 11:34:55 AM »
    I would never spend that much, my entire life we have always used artificial trees, but for those that are saying that it is a waste of money, so is most of everything we buy.

    My guess is that the difference between a $7000 and a $2000 one is marketing. That's the same reason Harry Adam, or whatever, pears are so much more than something you buy at the grocery store.

    My only additional comment is that I wish I marketed our products half as well.

    dragoncar

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    Re: The $7,000 Christmas Tree
    « Reply #16 on: December 17, 2013, 01:02:58 PM »
    I'm missing something here... why does a decorated Christmas tree cost more than $0 (the price of an artificial tree and ornaments handed down from parents)?

    Uhh... that's like saying why does a car cost more than $0 (the price of a car handed down from parents)

    The differences are that:
      • artificial trees don't really have chance to wear out since they're used only seasonally
      [/b]
      • by the time kids move out and want a tree the parents tend to be tired of dealing with it, so they don't have to buy a new one to replace it
      • With ~2 children per family (on average) in the US, if one of those children inherits their parents' tree and the other inherits a tree from their in-laws, then there is no net increase in the number of trees needed from one generation to the next (again, on average).

      Not to nitpick, but artificial trees absolutely do wear out.  Obviously not nearly as quickly as real trees, but too quickly to be passed between generations in any significant way.

      My parents have had an artificial tree for the past 12 years (did buy it used, so not sure how old it actually is but less than 20 yrs.) and the needles are starting to fall out.  More importantly, many of the branches are getting too weak to hold some of the heavier ornaments.

      That still doesn't take into account those crappy pre-lit trees that seem to be taking over the world, which certainly won't last more than a few years due to more moving parts, lost/dead bulbs, and the general cheapness of many of the designs.  A good quality artificial tree could probably last as many as 40 years but then the absolute most you'll get out of it is 2 generations, and that's assuming:

      1. Empty nesters don't want to have a tree
      2. Kids don't want a tree until they themselves are married
      3. Kids and parents live in similar size/arranged dwellings

      None of which are true with the people I know.

      As an alternative, I recommend a festivus pole for it's high strength to weight ratio.

      [/list]

      MilwaukeeStubble

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      Re: The $7,000 Christmas Tree
      « Reply #17 on: December 18, 2013, 08:20:47 AM »
      I'm missing something here... why does a decorated Christmas tree cost more than $0 (the price of an artificial tree and ornaments handed down from parents)?

      Uhh... that's like saying why does a car cost more than $0 (the price of a car handed down from parents)

      The differences are that:
        • artificial trees don't really have chance to wear out since they're used only seasonally
        [/b]
        • by the time kids move out and want a tree the parents tend to be tired of dealing with it, so they don't have to buy a new one to replace it
        • With ~2 children per family (on average) in the US, if one of those children inherits their parents' tree and the other inherits a tree from their in-laws, then there is no net increase in the number of trees needed from one generation to the next (again, on average).

        Not to nitpick, but artificial trees absolutely do wear out.  Obviously not nearly as quickly as real trees, but too quickly to be passed between generations in any significant way.

        My parents have had an artificial tree for the past 12 years (did buy it used, so not sure how old it actually is but less than 20 yrs.) and the needles are starting to fall out.  More importantly, many of the branches are getting too weak to hold some of the heavier ornaments.

        That still doesn't take into account those crappy pre-lit trees that seem to be taking over the world, which certainly won't last more than a few years due to more moving parts, lost/dead bulbs, and the general cheapness of many of the designs.  A good quality artificial tree could probably last as many as 40 years but then the absolute most you'll get out of it is 2 generations, and that's assuming:

        1. Empty nesters don't want to have a tree
        2. Kids don't want a tree until they themselves are married
        3. Kids and parents live in similar size/arranged dwellings

        None of which are true with the people I know.

        As an alternative, I recommend a festivus pole for it's high strength to weight ratio.

        [/list]

        I think we have a winner.

        the fixer

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        Re: The $7,000 Christmas Tree
        « Reply #18 on: December 18, 2013, 11:05:38 AM »
        We got a $20 fake tree on Craigslist that came with the base and two strings of lights. We've been buying "ornaments" over the past year, which are mostly tacky souvenir keychains from various places we've visited. My wife made an ornament from a novelty M&Ms container by sticking a photo of us on the front. A quick Google search for "diy christmas tree ornaments" turns up lots of creative ideas.

        So you can do the traditional Christmas thing really cheap.

        the fixer

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        Re: The $7,000 Christmas Tree
        « Reply #19 on: December 18, 2013, 11:07:51 AM »
        I almost forgot: the fake tree we got on Craigslist wasn't meant to fit into the base we got with it. I came up with a mounting solution which involved a roll of duct tape and some wood shims made out of a 2x2. Cutting the 2x2 into shims left a nice pine scent in the apartment, despite our fake tree!

        Itchin4Scratch

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        Re: The $7,000 Christmas Tree
        « Reply #20 on: January 02, 2014, 08:36:25 PM »
        Hang air fresheners from your artificial tree if you want it to smell.  lol!

        My neighbors always bought a baby evergreen for Christmas then planted it after Christmas was over.  Years later, when one of the trees was big enough, they'd cut it down to use for Christmas again.  That means each tree was used 2x.  I always thought that was genius. 

        NVDee

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        Re: The $7,000 Christmas Tree
        « Reply #21 on: January 07, 2014, 03:04:04 PM »
        Wow! 

        For the past  8 years I have organized a tree hunt here in British Columbia.  All residents are allowed to apply for a permit from the Government  to go cut a tree down on Crown (goverment) land under powerlines :)  This past year we had our largest group of 7 couples.  We've never been disappointed and the win is we are actually saving tax payers money as the government won't have to pay tree cutters to go in and cut the trees down later on when they threaten the powerline.