Christmas tree sales enjoy a growth spurt

Sacramento BeeDecember 3, 2008 

Shoppers may buy fewer holiday gifts this year, but they don't appear to be skimping on Christmas trees.

Local tree farms say opening weekend Christmas tree sales have far outpaced last year's numbers.

At Davis Ranch tree farm in Sloughhouse, sales were up 10 percent – about 120 trees – from last year. It's early yet, but Sloughhouse manager Jim Ayers has a theory.

"I think people are still going to buy trees and decorate their houses, but buy fewer presents," he said.

Despite brisk Black Friday retail sales, consumer confidence and spending are in the doldrums and retailers are struggling in ways not seen in decades.

But many families, especially younger ones, still plan to celebrate the holidays with an evergreen, said Rick Dungey, a spokesman for the Missouri-based National Christmas Tree Association, which represents the $14 billion farm-grown Christmas tree industry.

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