Sunday, December 12, 2010

Would You Buy a Christmas Tree Online?

I have been involved in selling Christmas trees for close to twenty years, AND I never imagined the possibility of purchasing one online. Yes ONLINE. And the generation before mine thought things changed quickly, my head is spinning. I just came across this Ad a several minutes ago. I started writing immediately but was interrupted by the happiest, and largest gang of tree shoppers I have encountered thus far. Three families, who each year go for breakfast then tree shopping together, all with big smiles and good cheer. I wish I had a prize for them "Happiest Shoppers Ever!"

Anyway back to my "Would you buy a Christmas Tree Online" quandary. The tree arrives by mail in a handy 60" x 9" x9" sized box. If a monster tree is your thing, this will not be your tree shopping answer. But, what if your happy with a nice modest tree? It seems wrong, but wait, I ship and receive daylilies bare root and they are quite fine after their time in a box. It is possible you could get a fresher tree than going to a box store tree lot for instance. Many people do not realize the typical Christmas tree is cut, wrapped, shipped, and stored before it hits the lot. It is an industry practice to start cutting Oct/Nov to get all those trees processed and out to the consumer. If the tree was cut boxed and shipped same day, then sent with a overnight to 2-3 day delivery it starts to be an interesting idea.
Personally I like knowing the providence of my tree. I have seen some very sad trees come out of the October/Nov mass cut- store-ship scenario. It's not that this doesn't work, surprisingly it works well enough. In my Christmas tree experiences there are always some unsold trees, and one year the company I worked for had to wait till Spring to dispose of them. They having been stored outside were absolutely fresh when we got to them , 4-5 months after they had been cut.

Where things really can go wrong is in the shipping /storing as well as the weather during cutting, and where they are from. Cut your trees in a hard cold snap, big needle drop later. Have your cut trees too wet, or too frozen in storage big problems. Store in big piles, is that wrong, oh yeah, think compost pile. It goes on and on. I will not sell anything but fresh cut trees. It's one of those things that to me technically should be fine, and often is, but if you really want to know your tree is going to be fresh always buy a fresh cut tree. Support your local retailer, and farmer, and it's win win for everyone.

I always buy local trees, we are blessed in our area to be free of needle cast diseases that can effect cut trees coming from off the Island.I have been to the farms I buy my trees from. I also know what the weather was when the trees I buy were cut. I can avoid taking trees cut in severe weather. All the warm rainy weather going on right now is perfect Christmas tree cutting weather. Remember our "feels like minus 16" weather in November my trees were not cut then. A little knowledge goes a long way. I buy in small quantities, sometimes my trees were cut only hours ago, more often a few days ago but thats a very good turn around, and to be applauded not concerned about.

So what are your thoughts tree in a box, it's interesting, but not for me. I like to pick out a tree, and drag it home. End of season, if someone would come put it in a box when I am done with it that would get my attention.