Sponsored by Forest Grove Economic Development
Home Archives December 2006 Oregon Christmas trees fetch premium prices

Oregon Christmas trees fetch premium prices

| Print |  Email
Friday, December 01, 2006

 

NobleFir1206.jpg

AURORA — Last Christmas season, Clayton Valley Pumpkin Farm and Christmas Trees made a big to-do over a line of Willamette Valley-grown noble firs it was selling.

The Northern California outlet held an exclusive showing of the trees, gave them their own display and played up their beauty, longevity, scarcity and Oregon upbringing. They charged 40% more for the select nobles — and in no time at all sold all 100 of its so-called designer Christmas trees.

“It’s one of the fastest sales I’ve ever had,” says David Osteen, Clayton Valley’s president, “and people are coming back in droves to reserve them for this year.”

Known as Oregon’s Noble Vintage, the stately firs — and the accompanying upscale marketing push — are a farm consortium’s response to the drooping sales, glutted market and increased faux fir competition facing Oregon’s Christmas tree growers.

“The industry’s been kind of stagnant,” says Tom McNabb, sales director for Yule Tree Farms, one of three Clackamas County growers involved in the program. “Nobody’s really putting any interest in what they’re doing, so we wanted to change that trend.”

The consortium debuted the ONV in 2004 and sold about 1,500 of the trees; it expects to sell about 4,000 this year.

Just about a dozen retailers nationwide, including one in the New York’s Hamptons, carry the ONV. They pay 15% more for the swanky trees, but the retail markup easily makes up for it. Osteen’s regular nobles sell for $89.95; the ONV’s go to a mostly upper-crust crowd for $134.

The ONV has at least helped generate some renewed interest from retailers and consumers — a good thing, considering that Oregon’s Christmas tree industry has been shedding needles lately.

Though still national champ for production, Oregon saw the value of its crop fall from $114 million in 2003 to $108 million last year, the result of too many trees and not enough buyers.

“It’s not that perfect sweet spot where supply and demand are really in line,” says Bryan Ostlund of the Pacific Northwest Christmas Tree Association.

McNabb says that while it’s important to keep the number of trees in check, another key component is to keep people engaged, thus the designer tree approach.

“If you’ve got more trees coming on, you’ve got to say, ‘Time to generate more interest,’” he says. “That’s why we started doing this — to generate interest and get people excited.”

— Jon Bell

 

Comments   

 
#1 RE: Oregon Christmas trees fetch premium pricesGuest 2012-11-07 18:22:16
This comment has been deleted by Administrator
 

More Articles

Q&A: David Lively of Organically Grown Co.

News
Tuesday, July 01, 2014
OGCLogoBY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER

Demand for organic food continues to soar: Last year, sales of organic food rose to $32.3 billion — up 10% from 2012. In Oregon, organic produce wholesaler Organically Grown Co. has been championing organic growing methods for four decades.


Read more...

Portland rises

News
Monday, August 18, 2014

IMG 2551Portland is in the middle of another construction boom, with residential and office projects springing up downtown, in the Pearl and Old Town. OB Web Editor Jessica Ridgway documents the new wave.


Read more...

Who said we should sell in May?

Contributed Blogs
Friday, July 18, 2014
BullMarketBY JASON NORRIS | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

Back in May, we shared a common Wall Street quote about investing, “Sell in May and go away.” Fast forward to July and the most common question we have been getting from clients is, “When is the market pullback going to occur?”


Read more...

OB Video: Dress for Success

News
Wednesday, July 02, 2014
DFSOBY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB WEB EDITOR

Dress for Success Oregon promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and career development tools.


Read more...

Podcast: Interview with Steve Balzac

Contributed Blogs
Tuesday, August 19, 2014

082014BalzacBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

Tom Cox interviews Steve Balzac, author of "Organizational Psychology for Managers."


Read more...

Two sides of the coin

Contributed Blogs
Monday, August 25, 2014
0825 thumb moneyBY JASON NORRIS | OB GUEST BLOGGER

Ferguson Wellman’s investment views on the economy and capital markets.


Read more...

South Waterfront's revenge

News
Thursday, July 24, 2014
MoodyAveBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Remember the naysayers?  Those who called the South Waterfront aerial tram a boondoggle?  Those who rejoiced at the massive sell off of luxury condos at the John Ross and Atwater Place?


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS