Christmas trees in demand (and a bit pricier)

Posted 11/30/19

William Joyner was just trying to contain the enthusiasm, making sure the family wasn’t picking out a 10-foot tree with the expectation that it would fit under an 8-foot ceiling.

“You’ve got …

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Christmas trees in demand (and a bit pricier)

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William Joyner was just trying to contain the enthusiasm, making sure the family wasn’t picking out a 10-foot tree with the expectation that it would fit under an 8-foot ceiling.

“You’ve got to deal with the excitement,” Joyner said. “The young ones get excited. The wife gets excited. And they want to put this big, grand tree in. I’ve got a decent house, but I don’t have 12- or 14-foot ceilings.”

The Joyner family was among many who ventured out Saturday looking for a Christmas tree.

“You’ve got to contain the enthusiasm a little bit, but they’re excited,” Joyner said. “That’s the Christmas spirit and that’s what it’s all about. Whatever she wants that will fit in the house is fine by me.”

With Thanksgiving marked off the calendar, many Wilson County families are searching for the right Christmas tree.

Patrick Owens of Nash Street Firs said he’s sold a lot of 7-footers and 9-footers.

“If they have an 8-foot ceiling, they want a 7-foot tree,” Owens said. “It they have a 10-foot ceiling, they want a 9-foot tree. Some folks don’t have a ceiling restriction, and they just want the biggest one they can find. They want a huge one.”

Christmas trees come in many varieties, but the Fraser fir is one of the most popular.

That’s what Patsy Ferrell picked out.

“Fraser fir, that’s what I always get, for its stability and longevity, and it smells like Christmas,” Ferrell said.

Ferrell said it’s a tradition for her family to begin the search for a Christmas tree right after Thanksgiving.

The retired schoolteacher is eager to secure a tree and begin decorating it.

“I am not a pre-Thanksgiving decorator,” Ferrell said. “I have started moving my furniture. I’ve gotten my decorations out, and I am ready to go.”

Friends and family help her decorate the tree.

“I don’t do a lot of stuff, but I love my tree,” Ferrell said. “I love just looking at it.”

Tyler Hudson, owner of Late Season Farms, said sales have been strong this year.

“It’s going really good,” Hudson said. “We are having a great year. Sales are definitely up for sure.”

The trees are next to Supreme Pools at 4711 Nash St. NW.

Supreme Pools owner Ben Alexander donated the space for Hudson to set up the trees.

“Tyler does a real good job,” Alexander said. “We’re just glad to help him out.”

John Hudson, Tyler’s father and pastor at New Beginning Free Will Baptist Church, said it was hard finding trees this year.

“One of the biggest problems is during the recession, the growers overcut to pay their bills,” Hudson said. “Now they are actually coming up a little short. Any time there is a shortage, there is a price increase, and it seems like the middleman has really gone up a lot. We were blessed to be able to find a grower that would sell direct to us to keep our trees not only affordable but also a good western North Carolina tree. West Jefferson, Boone or Sparta is where our trees came from this year.”

“We were able to go up last Friday and pick them up just before the weekend so that we could begin displaying them Sunday afternoon,” Tyler said. “And as soon as we started displaying them, people began to stop, and we have been selling them ever since. This looks like it’s going to be our best year, which means the Hope Station and the homeless shelter is going to be a big winner as well so we are going to be able to provide them with more funding to operate. So we have really been blessed.”

Late Season Farms has donated proceeds from the sale of Christmas trees to the Hope Station.

“This is our fifth year, and it looks like it’s going to be our best year,” John Hudson said. “When I was young, my dad’s church would go out and provide a meal and devotional for the people at Hope Station,” Tyler Hudson said. “I went for years and years until I went to college. That is my way of continuing to have an affiliation and support them in any way I can. I definitely would like to thank all of the customers who have continued to come out and support us year after year and hope to continue to bring quality trees and hope to put a smile on somebody’s face for Christmas.”

“Some people have not been as fortunate and that’s very sad, but hopefully this shortage of trees is going to be over in the next several years and things can get back to a little bit normal and the other growers in town will be able to get all the trees they need as well,” John Hudson said.

Owens also noted difficulty finding trees this year.

“They were in short supply, but we were able to work locally with some people here in North Carolina and elsewhere to source them from where we could,” Owens said. “It wasn’t as easy as you would think, really. We’ve got Fraser, Canaan and we’ve got some Concolor on the way. We started with about 200 and have some more coming in as the weeks progress.”

Owens said prices for Christmas trees this year are from $60 to $100. His lot is located at 502 Nash St. adjacent to Western Sizzlin’.

“Some of them are a little more than $100 if you want to get a really big one,” Owens said.