Home Back Issues December 2006 Oregon Christmas trees fetch premium prices

Oregon Christmas trees fetch premium prices

| Print |  Email
Archives - December 2006
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

Community colleges and sustainability

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, July 31, 2014
sustainabilityBY MARY SPILDE | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

Faced with the aftermath of the “great recession,” increasing concern about the environment and dwindling family wage jobs, we have some very important choices to make about our future.


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...

Launch

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

September's Launch article features Orchid Health, BuddyUp and Inter-Europe Consulting.


Read more...

Startup or Grow Up?

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY JON BELL

Startup culture is all the rage. Is there a downside?


Read more...

Tight and Loose

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY JENNIFER MARGULIS

As schools implement more rigorous academic standards, holistic and flexible approaches to K-12 education flourish.


Read more...

Video: The 100 Best Survey

News
Thursday, August 28, 2014

100-best-logo-2015 500pxw-1OB Research Editor Kim Moore shares some pointers about the 100 Best Companies to Work For survey.


Read more...

College Hacker

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY KLINT FINLEY

Treehouse CEO Ryan Carson builds a 21st-century trade school.


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