Live holiday plant imports into the United States reach $80 million in 2022
Christmas trees and poinsettias are iconic symbols of the holiday season. While the vast majority are grown in the United States for domestic use, a small share of both plants are imported from Canada. Trade is highly seasonal, with 99 percent of Christmas trees and 95 percent of poinsettias shipping between November and December. From 2000–15, live Christmas tree imports averaged around 2 million trees per year at an inflation-adjusted annual value of $36.1 million. However, by 2022, live tree imports reached nearly 2.8 million trees at a value of $68 million. Import values of live trees had previously spiked in 2020 because of COVID-19 supply chain issues, and prices have remained relatively high since. Poinsettias first grew in popularity as a Christmas flower in the United States after they were brought from Mexico in the 1820s. In the early 2000s, the United States imported as many as 5.9 million live plants per year before that number dipped to 1.2 million in 2011, in parallel to the narrowing of the U.S. to Canadian dollar exchange rate. In recent years, the number of plants has gradually increased with a more significant increase in value. In 2022, live poinsettia imports totaled 2.2 million plants worth $11.5 million. This chart is drawn from the Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade published by USDA’s Economic Research Service, November 2022.
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