"Real" Christmas Tree Sales Down In East Texas - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/15/04-Tyler

"Real" Christmas Tree Sales Down In East Texas

Nationwide, seventy percent of homes have a natural Christmas tree. But that's way down from just a few years ago. Whether folks are allergic, or just want the convenience, those who live among the East Texas pines are also choosing more fake trees.

Nancy Wiggins sells real trees at Plantation Pines Tree Farm near Swan.

"We were busy the first couple of weekends after Thanksgiving and into December, and then it just died, and we don't know why," she says.

There are lots of kids and hay rides at Plantation Pines tree farm. Hundreds of pines are ready to go too, but there aren't enough buyers.

"We got lots of trees that we expected to sell, that next year will be a foot or two feet taller," Wiggins says.

Some of them will be too tall, and they'll have to be cut down anyway. Plantation Pines is just one of the tree farms nationwide with sales not where they want them to be. Instead, fake is hot.

"I think it's easier. We have it every year and we don't have to go out and pick out one that's just as beautiful as we have now," says Heather Soules, who has a 12-foot artificial tree at home.

Jacob Wilson works at Tyler's Target store.  "The sales have been so enormous," he says.

At target in Tyler, they brought in extra stock of fake trees, some with all the trimmings. And they're selling very well.

"For those who don't have six hours with the family for the traditional putting up of the Christmas tree, we have a wide variety that are already lit, and some with ornaments, and some that you take out of the box and 'boom,' you've got a Christmas tree," he says.

It's a matter of taste, and Barbara Davis has a fake tree for now, she says only because her new grandson might pull the needles off.

"We want him to have the experience of going out with Grandma and Grandpa and parents and cutting down a real tree," she says.

That's Christmas music to Nancy Wiggins, since her families make the difference between ho-hum and ho-ho-ho.

Growers of natural trees say their product is more environmentally-friendly -- that they decompose naturally at the landfill.

But companies that make artificial trees say going that way produces less waste to begin with, because they can be used from year to year.

Reported by Morgan Palmer. 

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