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Christmas Tree Sales Involve Planning and Risk

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 22 Dec 2010 03:15pm | comments
A Leyland Cypress, a common Mississippi Christmas tree

Selling Christmas tree in Mississippi requires long term planning, and a little bit of luck. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports that the people who run these businesses think it is worth the risk.

Building a business that thrives on Christmas sales can require years of planning.

John Wood recently opened a store in Jackson called 'Seasons' which changes depending on what holiday is coming up. He bought 650 trees, and just a few days before Christmas had more than 150 left.

"Sales are good, they are just a little slow right now. I think I over bought for the area. (reporter: Why do you say that?) I purchased trees based on my previous sales and they just fell a little bit short this year," Wood said.

Joan Hartsog has sold more than 400 live trees this year from her farm, Hollytree Farm in Silver Creek. She and her husband have been in business for 20 years. Hartsog says business is strong because people love the act of choosing their own live tree.

"It has become a tradition for our costumers. They come out here and usually the whole family comes at one time. In fact, they wait for some of their relatives that don't live right there with them. They all come out and have a good time, walk around the farm and look at the trees," Hartsog said.

That is the emotion that Judith Lowry is trying to tap into. She started Lowry Christmas Tree Farm in Flora two years ago, and it will be at least 3 more years before the trees are ready to be cut.

Lowry calls what she does, agra-tourism, and is gambling that it will be a growth market for the state.

"The people who sought us out have traditionally been doing this for years. So they are looking for someone to keep their tradition going. They don't want to buy an artificial tree. They want a real tree," Lowry said.

Lowry says they had so much interest that she brought cut trees in from out of state to sell, and might expand to include pumpkins next year.

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A Leyland Cypress, a common Mississippi Christmas tree


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