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

Ethan Wolff-Mann
Senior Writer
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)

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)

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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