Christmas trees flying off the lots this year
Customers eager for holiday cheer during pandemic buying earlier
With more of us nesting at home and yearning for some extra holiday cheer during the pandemic, Christmas tree farms around Ottawa are reporting increased and earlier demand this year.
Kenny Stuyt, owner of Fallowfield Tree Farm, said he's seen a 30 to 35 per cent boost in business already. Stuyt told CBC many customers aren't stopping at just one tree.
"They're decorating and saying, 'Let's even put one outside this year.... Let's make it real nice for our family.'"
Stuyt said with people stuck at home and unable to travel, he's seeing many first-time buyers.
"[They're] saying, 'This is our first time, we've never done it before,'" he said. "They're at home right here in Canada, and they gotta make the best of it."
Stuyt, whose farm offers both fresh-cut and cut-your-own trees, said he's already had to restock his cut trees to keep up with demand, but added he's not worried about running out.
WATCH | Christmas tree sales up more than 30 per cent:
Mark MacGowan, owner of MacGowan's Christmas Tree Farm, agreed people seem to be buying earlier than usual, and said he's also seeing more first-timers.
"[They've] never had a real tree before and [are] asking lots of questions around how to take care of them and maintain them well through the holiday season," he said.
MacGowan's started an online service last year that lets customers order their tree for delivery or pickup, and said those sales have already quadrupled this season.
WATCH | First-time tree buyers during the pandemic:
Briggs Tree Farm owner Robin Briggs said sales at his cut-your-own operation still depend largely on the weather, but has noticed some people are turning up just for something different to do during the pandemic.
"We're finding there's quite a few people that are doing that this year because they, with COVID and stuff, they're looking for exercise and they're looking for something to do that's not inside a building," he said.
Briggs said the true measure of the year will be the next two weeks, typically his busiest.