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Demand for real Christmas trees soars amid pandemic

"With 2020, everyone's had a hard year, it's been hard on everyone, so I think everyone's wanting to get in that Christmas spirit earlier this year."

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It seems like many people are ready to get into the holiday spirit, as Christmas tree sales are already booming across the country this year.

"Everybody's getting Christmas trees early this year,” said Chadwick Dahlquist, a tree shopper.

Ani Sirois, Dahlquist's wife, said they were following the trend.

“I saw that all my friends on Instagram already had their trees so I wanted mine too," Sirois laughed.

The Christmas Tree Promotion Board found that 20% of people who had a fake tree last year are now opting for a real one.

"Never seen a demand like we have this year,” said Mckenzie Cook, the owner of McKenzie Farms in Oregon.

Oregon is one of the top tree exporting states along with Washington State, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina.

Cook said typically 25 to 30% of sales usually come the weekend after Thanksgiving.

"This year we’re going to look at 15 to 20% before Thanksgiving, 35 to 45% after Thanksgiving,” Cook said.

Family farmer Teagan Milera pointed out more people are staying home this year due to the pandemic.

"There were a couple of families I talked to yesterday who said, 'Usually we’re out of the country so we don’t even know what tree we want or how to do this,'” Milera said.

"We definitely want to say it’s been busier than it normally is,” said Zachary Hubbard, the lot manager of Sutherland Farms tree lot on East Boulevard in Charlotte.

Hubbard says he believes people want a little extra cheer this year.

"With 2020, everyone's had a hard year, it's been hard on everyone, so I think everyone's wanting to get in that Christmas spirit earlier this year,” Hubbard said.

To keep people safe, Hubbard says his team has tight safety precautions in place, providing gloves, hand sanitizer, and wipes for customers.

"Employees wear masks all day every day, we sanitize our cash register and cash box every client we interact with,” Hubbard said.

Hubbard said even their height sticks are wiped down after every use. 

    

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