CHESHIRE — The recent long holiday weekend was a busy time for area Christmas tree farms.
Cheshire Hollow Farm on Peck Road sold an estimated 400 Christmas trees over Thanksgiving weekend, nearly half of their pre-cut inventory, which comes from Canada. The farm also offers a cut-your-own tree option.
“We were slammed all weekend,” said Dawn Cestaro, one of the farm’s owners. “People seem to want to buy their trees earlier this year.”
Cestaro said the farm even saw a handful of customers before Thanksgiving, when the farm only had cut-your-own trees available for purchase. Pre-cut trees were available when the farm opened on Friday.
“Stores and commercials start advertising for Christmas earlier every year,” Cestaro said. “Everywhere you go, it’s all about Christmas, so people figure ‘hey, might as well go get the tree.’”
Cheshire Hollow Farm sold out of pre-cut trees last year. Business slows during the week, but the weekend rush clears the trees out quickly, especially the most popular — Fraser Firs. The Frasers tend to stand more upright and hold heavier ornaments, according to Cestaro.
Most people take down their tree shortly after Christmas, but if cared for property a tree can remain up much longer. She remembers a customer keeping their tree up through Valentine’s Day.
“As long as you keep them well watered, they should be fine.” Cestaro explained. “We get our trees from Canada, and they tend to hold up longer than trees from the South, like North Carolina.”
The farm also offers a petting zoo with goats and bunnies.
“I’ve seen former customers around town who tell me they’re sorry they haven’t come back, because they bought an artificial tree,” Cestaro said. “But a lot of other people thank me for keeping tradition alive. So many cut-your-own businesses are gone, so it’s nice to be a part of keeping that holiday tradition.”
All told, U.S. consumers are expected to buy about 27 million trees, roughly the same as the last two years, according to the National Christmas Tree Association. Most people will find what they want, but prices could be a bit higher than last year's average retail price of about $75, said Tim O'Connor, the association's director.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.