Tis the season for Christmas Trees
FOREST CITY— With Christmas just around the corner, many are in search of the perfect tree to prepare their homes for the holidays.
Whether it is tall, short, fat or thin, a Christmas tree can liven up a room and bring a family together. Although some opt for an artificial tree, most choose to explore their choices for a real one.
Jeff Freund works at the Christmas tree lot at the Tri-City Mall. Freund is from Mooresville and has been selling trees from the lot since a week before Thanksgiving. He spends the night in a camper and waits on deliveries of more trees from the mountains, which usually come on Thursday.
"They are cut fresh every week when they come in out of the hills. They are good, hearty trees and will last until the Super Bowl if you keep watering them," Freund said.
Most of his trees are Fraser Firs, but he does have some White Pines available. The trees range from $25 to $100, depending on the height. He says the average tree cost is $49 and is 6 to 7 feet tall.
"People come out to buy their trees at different times of the month, it just varies. They will come out early for the big trees. If they purchase a 9 feet to 15 feet tree then they will probably be doing some entertaining," Freund said. "I actually only have one big tree left. If somebody comes out here and wants it then I am sure they will get a deal."
Freund says once a family has picked out a tree, he and James Palmer, who is also working at the lot, assist them in getting them on their cars.
"After they pick out a tree. we trim the edges, run it through the bailer and put it on top of their car," Freund said.
He says that the key to having a healthy tree is to water it with hot faucet water as soon as you get it home.
"You do not need any of that aspirin, soda or anything like that to keep your tree healthy. All it needs is hot and cold water," Freund said. "Just use hot water at the beginning when you get it home and then switch to regular tap water."
The lot also sells their own handmade wreaths.
Freund is hoping that he will be finished selling trees before Christmas.
"I hope to wrap up around December 21, but if I still have plenty of trees, I will stay over that weekend," Freund said. "But selling is a lot of fun, especially when people are smiling."
Down a little farther in Sandy Mush on US 221A, Roger Tesseneer Jr. sells North Carolina Christmas trees out of his store called "Roger's Lawnmower Parts and More."
"The tree business is going well this year. I started selling my trees on Thanksgiving day. They come from Newland, NC where they are grown on a 400,000 acre farm," Tesseneer said. "I go up there and go through the field and pick them out myself. They cut the ones that I pick and I bring them back here to sell. People need to know that the main thing they should want in a tree is freshness. They should look for the freshest tree off the stump."
Tesseneer has been selling Christmas trees for five years. His trees start at $20 and range from 5-and-a-half to 10-and-a-half feet. He accepts debit and credit cards at his store.
"I try to price my trees reasonably. I don't want to overprice them or gouge somebody. I will work with people," Tesseneer said. "I sell 250 to 300 trees a year, and every year I get a little more to sell."
He says that the time that people choose to purchase their tree varies.
"When people choose to come in and get their tree varies. Yesterday I only sold three trees, but the day before I sold about 15. On Thanksgiving I could barely get them off the truck because there were so many people buying them," Tesseneer said. "Usually on days closer to the weekends, people buy more. But I am open everyday. As long as someone wants a tree, I will sell them a tree. I will stay open until Christmas Eve."
Tesseneer's favorite part of selling the trees is interacting with the families.
"I like seeing the kids that come out to pick out a tree. Nine times out of ten the tree that the child points at is the tree the parents are going to get," Tesseneer said. "It isn't about the money. The best part for me is seeing everyone happy."