Live Christmas trees having a better year

Christmas trees in the rain

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The first order of business for Bob Stacey, the manager of the Valley View Christmas tree lot at Cortaro Farms Road and Interstate 10, was to repair the damage from the Thanksgiving night rain and windstorm.

While his wife, Charlotte, cleaned up the broken ornaments and chased down the blown away table displays, Bob fixed the side panels and righted all the trees which were blown over.

“The main thing is are we stable, are we okay for people to come in,” he said. “And we are.”

Once it was determined that the it was safe for customers, they streamed in to look at trees and in most case, buy one.

“It’s about tradition for me,” said Nathaniel Swanson, who, along with his wife and two daughters, checked out a tall Nobel fir.

He found a 9-foot tree which was met with the approval of the rest of the family.

“It’s a collaborative decision,” he said.

The rest of the day would be spent decorating it with the final touch belonging to the whole family.

“We’ve got the angel that we put on top,” Swanson said. “I usually hold them both up at the same time and they’ll put it on top.”

Swanson likes the idea of a live tree because when he was a kid in Michigan, they’d cut the family tree every year.

Those memories are something he wants to pass on to his children.

“It’s very special for us,” he said. “And for the kids.”

For Stacy, who retired more than 20 years ago, selling trees gets him into the holiday spirit with the “smell of the trees and the kids.”

He says he enjoys making he families happy.

“A lot of it is about memories when they were kids,” he said. “They has a tree when they were kids, they come in with their kids and they want to have a tree for their kids.”

He sells three kinds of trees: the Nordmann fir, Douglas fir and Nobel fir.

Each has it advantages he said, but the Nobel fir is the most popular.

It has strong branches to hand ornaments and is hearty enough to get through the Christmas season provided they get enough water and are kept away from a heat source.

But the Douglas has a good, Christmas odor.

“Smell that,” he said, while pulling up a branch and took a big inhale. “It does smell good.”

But one of the better things about this Christmas tree season is the recession of 2008, when fewer trees were planted and some tree farms went out of business. However, that seems to be behind them now.

It takes a tree ten years to mature so many that were planted when the recession began to ease, are now finding their way to the lots.

This year trees are about a foot taller on average and more plump than in the past.

But the best thing is they are the same price or a bit lower than last year.

And that makes for a merrier Christmas.

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