The tents are open. The displays are in front of the department stores. People drive with their sideburns strapped to the roof of the car.
You can smell it in the air.
The Christmas tree shopping season is back in South Florida.
Now that Thanksgiving is over and the countdown to December 25 continues, more of us are looking for the perfect tree. And you have a choice.
Most obvious are the dozens of tent and church sales that dot the area. And you can’t walk into Pubix or Home Depot without noticing the displays of trees for sale outside.
Then there are less obvious options.
We have put together a buying guide to help you find a tree. Because, as we all know, you’ll have to do the hard work before you do the fun job of bringing it home and decorating it.
So, do you shop online or in-store? Should you choose a local seller over a large retailer this year? Can you get a tree controlled by Amazon Alexa or Google Home? Will a 14 foot tree fit in the living room?
And how are you going to fit it into your Mini Cooper anyway?
And if all of these options don’t work, you can always switch to the artificial and go to the nearest pharmacy to buy a small artificial one.
Here are tips and tricks for finding the perfect tree.
South Florida Christmas Tree Tents
If artificial trees aren’t your style, or you’re looking to support a local business, there are plenty of tree tents open for the holidays, with trees imported from states where Christmas trees are plentiful.
Here are some companies where you can buy a real tree:
Christmas trees from Santa’s garden
Open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Santa’s Garden has nine tree farms across Miami-Dade, from Kendall to Little Havana. This farm is seeded with trees ranging from 5 to 14 feet and costs between $ 85 and $ 700.
Unlike the other local places on this list, Santa’s Garden offers an online ordering and pickup or delivery service, just like a big box store. Santa’s Garden also offers professional lighting installation, starting at $ 350.
For addresses and contact numbers, visit www.santasgardenfl.net.
Flamingo Road Nursery
Open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, at 1655 S. Flamingo Rd. In West Broward, this location is fully stocked and has no issues with shortages, the company told the Miami Herald.
With trees ranging from 3 to 11 feet and priced at $ 35 to $ 350, the Flamingo Road Nursery will load and secure your tree in or on top of your car.
For more information and contact numbers, visit www.flamingoroadnursery.com.
Open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Hart-T-Trees Farms has nine locations in Broward County, from Hollywood to Coral Springs.
A Fort Lauderdale store manager said there was a shortage, but “at the moment we’re in pretty good shape.”
These tree farms carry trees from 3 to 15 feet which range in price from $ 30 to $ 230.
For addresses and contact numbers, visit www.hartttreefarms.com.
Firemen Christmas tree farms
Open 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Sunday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday at 5501 Granada Blvd., Firefighters Christmas Tree Farms has a good stock of Christmas trees grown in North Carolina.
The tallest trees in stock are 7 feet tall and prices range from $ 75 to $ 150. https://firefighterschristmastrees.com/
For more information and phone numbers, visit www.firefighterschristmastrees.com.
Jack’s Christmas trees
Open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. in Tamiami (12701 SW 137th Ave.) and Miami Gardens (17701 NW 57th Ave.), Jack’s Christmas Trees offers an assortment of trees from 3 to 14 feet. Prices range from around $ 40 to $ 800.
All locations offer full service with the tree and will prepare it for your tree stand.
For more information and contact numbers, visit www.miamichristmastrees.com.
Retail store Christmas trees
The big box home improvement store offers a variety of trees, including artificial trees. The store also sells pre-lit trees.
The home supply store’s online Christmas tree center offers guides and options for finding the perfect fit. Free fresh cut tree delivery and pickup options are also available.
Although the selection is wide, the prices may be higher than elsewhere. But there are budget options.
Christmas on a Budget and Walmart are a good match when it comes to buying trees.
Like other big box stores, you can head to your local Walmart or shop online. The best advice is not to waste gas and time, and check the stock online first. Brick and mortar stores tend to have less stock as the holidays draw closer.
Walmart’s tree selection is vast, and it won’t be long before you find plenty of trees under $ 100.
If you live in South Florida, part of your holiday meal will most likely come from Publix. So why not look for a tree there?
While there isn’t much information on the size and prices of Christmas trees in Publix stores, the popular supermarket offers North Carolina-grown Fraser firs, according to a blog post from the store.
Stores that sell trees and have them in stock will have tree farms in front or in the parking lot. Call your local store ahead of time to inquire about the selection,
While not a conventional idea for Christmas trees, Amazon has a choice – many artificial and pre-lit – from different sellers.
Like almost everything on Amazon, the price of trees varies depending on the size, quality, and elaborate light installations. If you want an Alexa-controlled tree, you can find it, but expect to pay.
Due to the overload of tree selections, the best buying advice is to trust tree sellers with highly regarded reviews.
Retailers selling artificial Christmas trees have reported a 20-30% price increase, according to the American Christmas Tree Association, natural trees are also expected to cost more this year due to extreme weather events in the Northwest Pacific and Midwestern and supply chain issues. .
While there are tree farms in Florida that grow a variety of cedars, cypresses, and pines that can be used for Christmas trees, many traditional Florida Christmas trees, like the Fraser fir, are sourced from other states. , including North Carolina.
Jodi Utsman, who carries the title of Head of the Elves at Santa’s Christmas Tree Forest, a tree farm in central Florida, said the price of Christmas trees in Florida has increased this holiday season due to shipping charges .
And while tree shortages are not expected this year, certain tree sizes, like eight to nine feet, might be more difficult to find, Utsman said. That’s because farmers didn’t anticipate demand and didn’t plant enough trees, Utsman said. Christmas trees take 10 years to reach this size.
Utsman recommends that buyers buy early and be flexible when looking for a natural tree.
Carry and keep a Christmas tree
You have seen the tree of your dreams and have perfectly imagined your living room. Now how are you going to get it in the car?
Before you leave the house to buy a tree, you will need a blanket and some ropes or bungee cords. Most tree sellers will offer help with putting your tree in or on the car. Otherwise, here are some tips:
First of all, how the tree is packed.
Artificial trees are usually not a problem. Neatly stored in a large box, trunk space is all you need. The netting is when the tree is tightly wound with twine or rope, which makes it less bulky and reduces damage from wind.
If this natural net tree does not fit into the trunk, it must go to the roof. First, place your blanket on your roof. You don’t want to scratch the paint. Place the trunk of the tree toward the front of the car and tip back. It helps aerodynamics. The steps:
▪ Using your rope or rubber band, secure the tree to your roof. You are now ready to go home.
▪ This next step may be hard for Miami drivers to hear, but drive slowly and stay off the freeway if possible.
Now that the tree is in the house, how are you going to keep it alive?
A Hart-T-Trees Farms manager says the trees are easy to maintain. Just give them plenty of water.
The Florida Christmas Tree Association recommends putting one quart of water for every inch of stem diameter in the holder. After that, just check the water levels daily.
Tips for Christmas tree decorations
Now that you have the perfect Christmas tree, the decorations are coming. With the season in full swing, it can be difficult to find the perfect ornament set or garland cut if you shop the traditional way.
Art supply stores, including Hobby Lobby and Michael’s, or retail stores, like Walmart or Target, almost always have holiday sales. The shelves are emptied quickly.
With the COVID-19 pandemic underway, many stores have perfected the art of online ordering and the in-store pickup system. Just like you would buy a tree, a good tip for finding the perfect ornament set is to go online.
Online shopping has been around for decades and it may seem simple enough, but the best and cheapest holiday products can be purchased this way this year.