Selling Christmas Trees

From the early 1950s to the mid 1960s my family owned a market in Horseheads, NY that mainly sold fruits and vegetables. Business was slow in the winter months so we would close except around Christmas time when we would sell Christmas trees. My dad had to go to growers and pick up a load or 2 of trees. We had trees leaned up against every part of our building and also standing up against a rope line. People would come to buy and they had us stand up the tree (like in the picture) and give the tree the once over. Very few would buy the first tree they looked at. The average number of trees that they looked at was probably around 8. The winter weather sometimes made the job of selling trees very uncomfortable.

Once someone had decided on a tree they wanted we had to put the tree in their trunk or tie it on top  of their car. In those days there wasn’t any of that plastic netting that most people use today. There was a lot of people that ended up buying a tree much larger than would fit in their house.

As I remember it; prices ranged from $4 for a 3 ft. tree to $10 for one about 15 ft. tall. Most were priced about $6 to $7. Our family made pretty good money selling trees for those prices.

We took Christmas day off but the week after Christmas we still sold discounted trees to people in the area that were Russian Orthodox. They celebrate Christmas on January 7th.

The last task came after New Years Day when we had to load the remaining trees on to our truck and take them to our local dump.