Betty Hutson, co-owner of Deerwoods Christmas Tree Farm in Ball Ground, still remembers a dramatic drop in sales two years ago but said sales are looking good so far this year.
“This weekend will be big,” she said, noting that this year’s pleasant, warmer weather attracts people to the outdoor farm.
In keeping with long-standing traditions, many families visit the same farm or retailer year after year to pick out a tree.
“If people can get a good tree, they like to go back and do it every year at the same place,” Walker Cloud, owner of Cloud Supply in Canton, said.
Berry Patch Farms co-owner Debbie Durden said some of the Woodstock farm’s original customers are now bringing their grandchildren to help pick out and chop down the perfect tree. The farm has sold Christmas trees for 25 years.
“We appreciate being part of their tradition. It makes us feel good,” Durden said.
But at Berry Patch Farms and other Christmas tree operations in Cherokee County, pre-cut trees are proving just as popular, if not more.
“People want a fir, and those just don’t grow here,” Durden said.
Deerwoods also sees good business when it comes to pre-cut trees, though cutting a fresh tree is still a popular option as well. The farm also sells wreaths.
“We’ve gotten a good reputation with our pre-cut trees, and that’s why we have so many repeat customers,” Hutson said.
Deerwoods keeps the cut trees in water to keep them fresh, she said. The farm has been in business about 25 years.
At Deerwoods or Berry Patch Farms, customers can enjoy a cup of hot chocolate or apple cider by the fireplace after picking out a tree. Berry Patch offers funnel cakes. Both will have appearances from Santa Claus. Deerwoods also has a craft corner for kids.
Old-fashioned candies, fruits and nuts are available inside at Cloud Supply during the holiday season. Wreaths and live garland are also sold.
Cloud Supply usually sells 200 to 250 trees during the Christmas season, bringing in customers who don’t typically shop for farm supplies.
“We do get a lot of repeat business this time of year, but a lot of it is folks we see once a year,” Cloud said.
Cloud has been selling trees since the mid ‘90s – before Cloud Supply even existed.
“This lot was just a vacant lot, and we came in and made some trails through the lot with sawdust and lined the trees up,” he said.
Berry Patch Farms is open through Dec. 9.
Deerwoods will sell trees through Christmas.
While Cloud Supply will sell trees through Christmas, Cloud recommends that customers come at least a week before Christmas to be able to choose from the store’s full selection.