Christmas tree sellers see green this year

December 19, 2011 7:57:09 PM PST
It looks like Santa will be leaving presents under a lot more live Christmas trees this year. Sales of North Carolina-grown Christmas trees are up this year.

North Carolina ranks second in the nation in Christmas tree harvest and, this year, many growers are really seeing green.

Jeff Harris has sold trees on Owen Drive since 1999. He says a lot of people want a live tree this year, rather than artificial.

"I've had a bunch of first time buys," said Harris. "I had to explain to them how to take care of the tree, how long it will last."

The average cost this year is around $50 - $60.

This tree sells for $54, this one for $79, and this big one $139. Sellers say don't let what looks like a glut of unsold trees fool you, it's been a great season."

Mike Pate not only sells trees in Fayetteville, he grows them in Ashe County. He says this year's harvest really looks good.

"We had a good growing season, had a lot of rain in the spring, a lot of rain in the fall and the trees are in good shape this year," said Pate.

And so are their pocketbooks. Economists expect this year's sales nationwide to top $800 million.

Many tree lots owners expect a surge of last minute sales right up until Christmas Eve.

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