BBC BLOGS - Magazine Monitor
« Previous | Main | Next »

Paper Monitor

12:34 UK time, Wednesday, 23 December 2009

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

As Paper Monitor has noted previously, the Financial Times is a newspaper that boasts a glossy supplement dedicated to helping readers part with their wads of spare cash, and blithely assumes when it comes to educating tomorrow's generation of captains of industry that private schooling is more an obligation than an option.

So it comes as some surprise to find the paper shedding light on a key personal finance issue, albeit one which is unlikely to be troubling the CEO stratum of society - why are Christmas trees suddenly so bleeding expensive?

The FT notes that the price of trees has risen sharply for the second year running and it's a combination of the weak pound and a shortage of stock that's pushing prices up.

This being the FT, there's some robust economic reasoning, which Paper Monitor will précis:

  • tastes have changed, these days Brits prefer the Nordmann fir with its no-drop needles to the traditional Norwegian spruce

  • Nordmanns take about 10 years to grow to a good height - so while many were planted in the UK earlier this year, they're still in the ground

  • We used to get lots of our Nordmanns from Denmarks, but supplies have fallen sharply since 2005 when prices fell and there was a glut

  • The pound is week - so British growers who do have trees are making more money by flogging them to our Europe neighbours

But there is some good news for coming years - as British Nordmanns start to hit maturity, this inflationary spiral will end.

In the meantime, the FT suggests a few alternatives, including a best-selling line of artifical trees at DIY chain B&Q. Although one would suppose FT readers are less into the DIY ethos than the CWJPSTDI - can't we just pay someone to do it philosophy. But the most novel of all suggestions is Chrsitmas tree rental. Apparently a bloke in Dorset hires out "live root" trees which he'll deliver to your door.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.