Here’s the busiest day to buy a Christmas tree and when they're more expensive

Writer
Yahoo Finance
NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 17: People gather as Christmas trees are seen for sale December 17, 2010 in the Manhattan borough of New York City. Retailers across the country are hopeful for a rebound in Christmas-related sales as the economy slowly improves. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 17: People gather as Christmas trees are seen for sale December 17, 2010 in the Manhattan borough of New York City. Retailers across the country are hopeful for a rebound in Christmas-related sales as the economy slowly improves. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

It’s official, the most popular day for buying a Christmas tree is the first Saturday of December. This year, that’s Dec. 2 — a day that you may want to avoid.

Payment platform Square (SQ) is a leading payment processing platform for independent and small businesses — a cohort that includes thousands of Christmas tree sellers across the U.S. (yes, not all are cash-only).

Thanks to hundreds of thousands of tree sales, Square was able to analyze last year’s numbers to distill American tree-buying habits.

Data from Square shows Christmas trees cost more in some states than others. (Square)
Data from Square shows Christmas trees cost more in some states than others. (Square)

Trees are most expensive in California ($76) and the least expensive in North Dakota ($27), though the data does not distinguish cities from more rural areas, where trees may be cheaper.

While the map may not be a surprise, the extreme price fluctuations of trees might. Though not a perfect example of price elasticity — people probably don’t determine when they buy based on price and can’t look up prices easily anyway.

Trees are most expensive at an average of $66 on Black Friday as people get into the holiday mood. Since 90% of trees are sold by the second weekend in December, the stock gets a heavy price slashing mid-way through December, and on Christmas eve, they are the cheapest at just $30 on average, when everything must go. Furthermore, Tuesday and Wednesday are the least crowded days to shop for trees.

The first weekend in December is the most expensive time to buy a tree. (Square)
The first weekend in December is the most expensive time to buy a tree. (Square)

Of course, if you really want to get a tree for cheap, you can get it for free after Christmas.

Ethan Wolff-Mann is a writer at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @ewolffmann. Confidential tip line: FinanceTips[at]oath[.com].

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