If you're looking to buy a real tree for Christmas this year, here's a list of five spots to pick one up, and tips on the best tree to buy.
1.) Greenhouse Growers, 21807 Greater Mack, has been selling real trees for 10 years. They always get their trees from Lakeland, in the northern part of the state. Trees are fresh cut and shipped to order. Varieties offered are Scotch pine, Douglas fir, Black Hills spruce, blue spruce, Balsam fir, Fraser fir and white pine. Although it costs a little more, they recommend the Fraser fir and suggest putting it in boiling water as soon as you get the tree home. The tree will absorb the water immediately and keep it looking fresh longer.
2.) Gabriel Cerqua, owner of Gabriel's Tree Lot, has been selling trees to St. Clair Shores residents for 18 years. His lot, located at the corner of Harper and Gordon Street, has a large selection of trees. All the trees on his lot come from his own farm in Kalkaska. Buyers can choose from Scotch pine, Fraser fir, Douglas fir, Balsam fir, white pine, Concolor fir and two types of spruces. Cerqua recommends the Fraser fir, with the Concolor fir coming in a close second. If you're worried about falling needles, he suggests you stay away from the Douglas fir and spruce trees.
3.) Solitro's Tree Lot at Harper and Timberridge started selling trees 40 years ago. Stop in and pick from the large selection of Fraser firs, white pines, Concolor firs, blue spruces, Blackhill spruces, Douglas firs and Scotch pines. Mr. Solitro recommends the Fraser fir for it's softer needles and it lasts longer. If you don't want to spend the extra money, he says to go with the Scotch pine which is still a good tree, but not as soft as the Fraser fir.
4.) Soulliere's Garden Center, 23919 Little Mack, transforms their back garden area into a Christmas tree lot for the holidays. Stop in and talk to Kenito Morimanno about their tree selection. They offer Fraser firs, Douglas firs, Scotch pines, Blue spruces and Concolor firs. All of their trees come from Northern Michigan. The Fraser fir is their most popular because it holds its needles longer and has heavier branches to hold more ornaments. Morimanno recommends the Concolor fir because it is hypoallergenic, has an orange citrus fragrance and lasts much longer then most trees. They hang their trees so buyers can spin them around, making sure they get a full tree.
5.) Hall's Nursery, 24300 Harper, offers Christmas trees and wreaths to order. Choose from Douglas firs, Fraser firs, Cork Bark firs, Alpine firs, Concolor firs, Scotch pines, White pines, Black Hills spruces, White spruces and Colorado spruces. They can also make wreaths from the branches of Douglas, Balsam and Fraser firs. Ring sizes range from 10 inches to 7 feet. They get their trees from two different Michigan locations, Lake City and Montague, as well as North Carolina. They recommend the Concolor fir because it is larger and thicker.
Prices for real trees vary from location, but on average they run anywhere from $4 to $9 a foot, or $20 to $70 per tree. The type of tree also helps determine the price. Fraser and Concolor firs are the most expensive while the Scotch pine and Douglas firs are the least expensive. If you're looking for longevity in your tree, Morimanno suggests going with either the Fraser or Concolor firs. Other trees, such as the Douglas fir, Scotch pine and Spruce varieties usually last until right after the first of the year.