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Picking the perfect tree: Locations dwindling, but some local lots still sell pre-cut, live Christmas trees

Searching for the perfect live Christmas tree doesn't mean locals have to travel far. There are several vendors selling pre-cut trees around Thomson.

Most everyone knows which stores carry artificial trees. But now that live tree sales are becoming more and more scarce within the county, the few places that sell them are staying busy.

"We got them in on that Tuesday before Thanksgiving, and we sold several trees on Wednesday before Thanksgiving and that weekend," said Rachel Newton of McDuffie Feed and Seed. "...People need Christmas trees, and they don't need to have to run all the way to Augusta to get them,"

Santa's Tree Lot in Carriage Lane has a wide height range of Fraser firs available. "Table topper" trees of about three feet are available for $15 while the full sized trees - up to 11 feet - range in price from $50 to $150.

The lot is open seven days a week from early morning to 9 p.m. on weekdays and even later on weekends.

Pre-cut Fraser firs are also available at McDuffie Feed and Seed. The five to 11 foot trees range in price from $29 to $85. The store is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.

Ms. Newton said tree shoppers are looking for just a few key characteristics before they buy.

"The most important thing, I think, is that they're looking for a fresh tree that is going to hold up and the needles aren't shedding on it real badly," she said. "That and the shape of the tree, also."

The Circle K on Washington Road is also selling a few trees. The convenience store has several kinds of trees for sale from five to seven feet tall and ranging in price from $21 to $32.

According to the National Christmas Tree Association website, the top selling Christmas Trees are: balsam fir, Douglas-fir, Fraser fir, noble fir, Scotch pine, Virginia pine and white pine.

But when it comes to picking the perfect ornament rack, experts say it all has to do with the beauty of the tree. They say the fun comes in the search, and people look for full branches and a symmetrical shape.

More importantly, though, they conclude that picking a live tree over an artificial one gives the buyer a tree that is unique. But keeping it well watered is one thing on which all experts agree.

Newly cut trees may need up to a gallon of water the first 24 hours and a quart a day following that, Lonnie Fulmer - owner of Santa's Tree Lot - told The Mirror in a previous interview.

Web posted on Thursday, December 07, 2006

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