Tighter timeframe for Christmas tree sellers

  • Associated Press
  • November 25, 2013 - 5:10 PM

DULUTH, Minn. — Christmas tree sellers have a tighter timeframe this year to generate revenue.

With Thanksgiving falling on the latest possible Thursday this year, tree growers have one less weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas to sell their spruce, pine and firs.

Jim Whorton, owner of Chub Lake Tree Farm near Carlton, is already selling trees.

"We've been opening on the Friday after Thanksgiving for 30 years now. But not this year," Whorton said. "I couldn't wait that long."

Whorton told the Duluth News Tribune ( ) that he figured he had little to lose by opening early this year.

"We were going to be here anyway. It just meant getting prepared a little earlier," he said.

Doug Hoffbauer sells trees in Duluth and Superior, Wis., and started selling wreaths, garlands and other decorations early this year, but not trees.

"I don't see much interest in trees quite yet," he said. "Thanksgiving is enough of an event already. I think people want to get through one holiday before they start work on the next one."

Few people who plan to host a large Thanksgiving gathering want to add setting up and decorating a Christmas tree to their list of chores, Hoffbauer speculated. And anyone traveling out of town to spend the holiday with family would be unwise to leave a thirsty, freshly cut tree untended.

Instead of trying to rush the season, Hoffbauer said he'll begin sales the day after Thanksgiving as he has in the past. He's bracing for a mad rush, however, given the shortened time between the holidays.

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