It seems that today, more than ever, consumers prefer products with a “connection” to local producers. In the case of Christmas trees, this means that the high quality Christmas trees we all enjoy are often harvested from small family-owned tree farms. Many of these tree operations have been family-owned and managed for two, three, and even four generations.
Buying trees from small, local tree farmers provides many benefits:
Purchases support a local economy
Money spent supports family farmers
Jobs created from these operations benefit people from all walks of life
Maintain extreme pride of ownership and high quality products
If you are a retailer, it makes good sense to purchase trees, wreaths, boughs, and other seasonal evergreens from local farmers. Whenever possible, emphasize your connection to individual tree growers. Consumers are more likely to want information on the products they purchase. It can be very beneficial to provide information about the grower and their operation history. Be sure to let customers know the types of trees they grow and the time it takes to produce a high quality tree. Most buyers are surprised to know it can be 8 to 12 years before a tree can be harvested, especially for trees like balsam fir, Fraser Fir, or spruce.
Another emerging trend is personal service. Making a fresh cut on tree bottoms, providing sturdy tree stands that hold a large quantity of water, placing trees in stands, and even providing tree removal service can go a long way in customer relations and buyer loyalty.
It is also a good time to emphasize tree care. Always remind people to have a reasonable expectation on the “life span” of a Christmas tree. Any fresh cut product needs water and, if cared for, will last about four weeks.
We have found that our customers really appreciate knowing their purchase supports a local economy and family growers.