CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Thanksgiving may still be a week away, but the Christmas spirit is already in full swing here in the Lowcountry.
Christmas tree lots are popping up around the Tri-County, giving residents plenty of time to snag a fresh tree before the turkey hits the table on November 27.
Cardinal Tree Farms, of West Jefferson, North Carolina, has six Christmas tree lots in Charleston, with locations in Mt. Pleasant, James Island, West Ashley, North Charleston, and Daniel Island. Each spot is already being stocked with fresh Fraser Firs, shipped directly from the NC farm.
Bill Parker manages their Christmas tree lot in front of Chick-fil-A on Magwood Drive in West Ashley. He attributes this year's early start to the late Thanksgiving holiday.
"We are running a little ahead of schedule, which is unusual, because of the way Thanksgiving is. We usually try to open up the Wednesday before Thanksgiving," said Parker.
Instead, Parker's West Ashley lot had its tent up on Saturday, and received its first shipment of trees on Tuesday - a full nine days before turkey day - with more on the way Wednesday.
Parker says such an early start would have been pointless when their Christmas tree lots first opened here over 15 years ago, but nowadays it is expected.
"It is strange, but when I first started this you wouldn't sell a tree until the 15th of December. But now, by Thanksgiving, people want their trees. And on the day after Thanksgiving we sell 200 trees," said Parker. "It goes in a hurry."
Parker says he expects the majority of their trees to be sold between now and December 5, with roughly 2,500 coming from the popular West Ashley location alone.
Cardinal Tree Farms lots will remain open through December 19.
Tips for maintaining your farm-grown Christmas tree:
- Decide on a location for your Christmas tree that is away from major sources of heat.
- When purchasing a live tree, make sure they cut at least one inch from the bottom of the trunk.
- Once you get your tree home, immediately place the tree in an appropriately sized stand that will hold water. Fill stand with water.
- Never let the water in your stand fall below the base of the tree. Plan to add water every day.
- Use lights that provide low heat. Inspect the lights first, and replace damaged bulbs/strands.
- Turn lights off when leaving the home or going to bed.