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Tree lots cater to Christmas spirit

Mike Edwards goes through the process of preparing a Christmas tree for a customer at Pierce Farms tree lot. (Photo by Anthony Richards / Advertiser)

Mike Edwards goes through the process of preparing a Christmas tree for a customer at Pierce Farms tree lot. (Photo by Anthony Richards / Advertiser)

The Christmas season is not complete without a Christmas tree standing tall somewhere in the household.

With about two weeks left until Christmas, the tree lots are in full swing and have been busy ever since Thanksgiving weekend. Some options can be found not far from the heart of Clanton.

Tree sales have increased this season. According to Holleywood Farms owner Joe Holley, in the past they have been open until Christmas Eve, but this year sold out of trees by the second week in December.

“We’ve sold out of trees, and I’ve seen even more going up and down the road,” Holley said.

Certain people prefer live trees instead of artificial ones, and the lots provide an opportunity for those who are searching.

“For years, people had gotten away from live Christmas trees, but it seems like they’re starting to come back to it,” Pierce Farms owner Tim Pierce said. “It brings back childhood memories for some.”

The only trees that both lots sell are Fraser Firs that were grown in the higher elevation climate of North Carolina.

“They hold their needles so much better, and they’re just a lot more durable,” Holley said. “They really hold up good in our humidity.”

Live trees have developed a reputation for creating quite a mess as the needles begin to fall. Pierce has looked to help limit the shedding by shaking each tree prior to being sold.

“It’s just something we offer that some tree farms may not,” Pierce said. “We shake them out and clean them up in order to make sure that they are a good quality tree before the customer buys it.”

The prices vary depending on the size of the tree. A typical price ranges from $25 to $150.

“There are a lot of people with limited budgets, and they still want a tree,” Holley said. “We tried to have something for everybody.”

The tree sales offer farms with an income opportunity that helps balance an otherwise sparse time of year for the business.

“We started out just doing this as a side job during the holidays, but it took off and has grown with every year,” Pierce said. “It got a hold of us, and we’ve been very blessed.”