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Buying the Perfect Christmas Tree For Less

{ Posted on Dec 17 2010 by Marcus Alston }

For the last several years my wife and I have bought a live Christmas tree (versus an artificial one).  We usually go to at least 5 different places searching for the “perfect” tree within our budget.  My wife is always looking for the perfect tree despite how futile, frustrating, and time consuming this search has been in the past.  She wants the perfect tree, but does not want to pay the $60-$90 the perfect tree seems to cost.

In searching for the perfect tree, we would visit small local pre-cut sellers of trees.  We would visit nurseries, temporary parking lot sellers, Home Depot, Lowe’s, and other vendors.  The nursery prices were often high, although they had good quality trees—trees that were full, with few gaps in the body of the tree, and healthy looking.  The lot sellers tended to look ok, but they did not look as fresh and the selection of quality trees was not as large.  In the case of the nurseries and the lot sellers, the trees my wife would like were out of our tree budget and the trees within our tree budget were not good enough for my wife.  Me on the other hand– I could find a tree I liked in my price range almost anywhere.  A tree does not have to be perfect to me.  Once its decorated, no one will know the difference.  And, until we redecorated our living room last year, the tree always went into the corner of the room where you could hide at least one side of the tree if it was not perfect.

Each time, I would end up picking the tree after my wife gave up and it would usually be at the last place we chose to visit, often- Home Depot or Lowe’s.  Home Depot and Lowe’s have trees in various price ranges which helps direct you if you are budget minded.  We have bought a few trees from these places in the past, usually under $40.  With the addition of the kids’ input, the likelihood of buying the perfect tree has diminished even more.  The kids tend not to be too picky (i.e. the trees the pick have imperfections, but they do tend to be the cheaper ones), so they do not help my wife’s quest for the perfect tree.

The Search for the Perfect Tree within Budget Leads to Discovering Tree Farms.  My search for the perfect tree within our budget this year led me to solicit others about where they get their trees from.  A friend of mine at work told me about Dzen’s Tree Farm in South Windsor, CT.  At Dzen’s you can cut your own tree or select a pre-cut one of any size, for $38 (includes tax).  I decided to go to Dzen’s with my 2 daughters.  My wife was busy at the time and probably preferred not to join us for fear that she would not approve of the tree we selected.  At $38 a tree, I think my wife was quite skeptical that we would find the perfect tree.  When we arrived, I noticed a competitor across the street (I will have to check them out next year when I have more time).  Unfortunately, Dzen’s sells Christmas trees only from 9-4pm (November 26 thru December 24), and we arrived about 3:40pm.  So with 20 minutes to find a free, we went driving through the tree farm, parked and then ran through the field of trees.  The kids had a ball.  We saw so many trees we liked—all for $38!!!  Some of these trees were perfect, except they were too tall for our house.  Finally, after evaluating a good 10-12 trees, we found the perfect tree for us, that even “Mommy” would love.  I cut it down using the saw they gave us when we drove in and I tied it to the car with the rope they provide.  I paid cash (checks or cash only, no credit cards).

We brought the tree home and when my wife arrived later, to my surprise, she said truthfully, “Nice tree, you guy really chose nicely, didn’t you?”  Yes we did.  We had finally found the perfect tree.

Next year I will try out Dzen again, the competitor tree farm across the street, and a third tree farm that sells all its trees for $25 each!!!

I highly recommend that you consider a tree farm in your area too—especially one with a flat one price no matter the size or condition of the tree.  Just “Google” the words “Christmas Tree Farms” and add your area and state to the search term to find the tree farms in your area.  Get pricing before you go.

Tip-Make sure you secure the Christmas Tree to the roof of the car or put it inside your vehicle if it will fit:  My kids saved Christmas because the Christmas Tree almost fell off the car while we were on the highway.  My kids were alert and warned me that the tree was sliding off the roof.  I pulled over, straightened it out and re-tied it with extra rope I took from the tree farm just in case I had to re-secure it.  If the tree had come off on the highway, who knows what kind of accident could have happened and who could have been injured.

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