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Christmas tree surplus means low prices for high quality trees

12:31 PM, Nov 30, 2010   |    comments
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SLOUGHHOUSE, CA - With so many options and so many prices, buying a Christmas tree can get complicated. But this year, you're bound to get a good deal on your holiday evergreen, especially if you're willing to put in a little sweat equity.

Rick Grimshaw is a co-owner of Davis Ranch in Sloughhouse where they grow and sell produce as well as tens of thousands of Christmas trees. Grimshaw says tree sales have declined about 10 percent every year for the past five years. "We've been cutting back. We used to have 50 acres of trees, now we have 40," Grimshaw said.

Grimshaw says because of less demand for trees, Davis Ranch has kept their price for cut-it-yourself trees steady at $35 for the past five years. Grimshaw also says pre-cut trees from Oregon and Washington, which although more expensive, are high quality this year because of the over-supply resulting from a planting boom five years ago.

There are dozens of Christmas tree ranches in El Dorado County and several in Placer and Sacramento counties where you can pick and cut down a tree yourself. Cutting down your own tree is typically the most cost-effective tree-buying strategy, averaging between $24 and $66 a tree.

The price for a pre-cut tree at a store or lot is between $20 and $100 for a 7 to 8-foot tree.

Artificial trees for sale at home stores cost on average between $50 and $300 and can last between five and 10 years.

The Associated Press

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