With Thanksgiving over, Christmas tree vendors around Kingstowne have set up shop and are ready to sell.
“The season’s just starting out,” said Scott Holder, who sells Christmas trees at a stand in front of Edison High School. Holder, a 2009 graduate of Edison, works at the stand with another Edison alumnus.
The trees at Holder’s stand, Frasier firs, cost between $24.95 and $150, depending on their size. While Holder says his most popular trees are between five and seven feet, some are much taller.
“Those are your super-mondo, 15-foot, huge trees,” he said as he cut rope off of trees stacked in a row.
Holder expects to run his stand until around Dec. 23, when anyone who is going to buy a tree already has one. While that might seem like a long time for the firs to wait on the side of Franconia Road, Holder says the trees aren’t at risk of drying out or losing their needles.
The real risk, he says, is when customers buy the trees. They need to care for them properly if they’re going to last through the holidays.
“We make sure to tell them to put it in water in 24 hours,” Holder said.
On the topic of tree maintenance, Holder had some good-natured ribbing for the tree-selling competition.
“We take better care of our trees than they do at Lowe’s or Home Depot, that’s for sure,” Holder said.
At the Hayfield Secondary tree stand, there’s another concern: weather. While Holder at Edison built a small hut near his trees for shelter during rain, the Hayfield stand had to open late due to rain on Tuesday. Typically, the Hayfield stand is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays, and from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the weekend.
Joni Davis, who was working at the Hayfield stand on Telegraph Road Tuesday, said Christmas tree sales have been good despite the unseasonably warm weather. She predicted that all of the stand’s trees would be sold by Christmas.
Both stands sell trees from Rorer’s Produce in Mount Vernon. After a tree is sold some of the proceeds are given to the school.
The stands sell more than just trees. Hidden under a tarp because of the rain were a variety of foods—salad dressings, marinades, even a mix of cabbage, peppers, and Tennessee Chow-Chows.
“Everyone always asks, ‘What is Tennessee Chow-Chow?’” Davis said.
The answer: a type of tomato.