Alberni Christmas tree vendors tree-mendously busy

Christmas day is a little more than a week away and sales of Christmas trees in Alberni are getting brisk, some local vendors say.

Connie Kirkpatrick sells wreaths and bows as well as the finer Noble fir (inset) trees at her family’s retail site

Connie Kirkpatrick sells wreaths and bows as well as the finer Noble fir (inset) trees at her family’s retail site

The snow has fallen, Frosty the Snow Man has played on television and the ‘holiday tree’ debate is back, so you know it’s that time of year.

Christmas is a little more than a week away and sales of Christmas trees are getting brisk, some local vendors say.

Connie Kirkpatrick just finished selling three Christmas trees at the business’s retail outlet on Third Avenue during a recent interview.

Kirkpatrick and her husband Gerry own Kirkpatrick Christmas Trees, and cultivate trees at their lot by the Alberni Valley Regional Airport.

In addition to selling Christmas trees at the retail outlet the Kirkpatricks also operate a U-cut at their tree lot where shoppers can pick and chop down their own tree.

Christmas wreaths and bows are also sold at the retail outlet.

The couple set up on Third Avenue on Dec. 2 and business has started to get steadier. “Our peak time is between about Dec. 10 to Dec. 18 depending on the weekend,” Connie said.

Kirkpatrick sells Douglas and Noble fir trees, as well as Grand fir and white pine species. The most popular tree being sold right now is Douglas fir, Connie said.

The couple have been selling trees at the same location for 19 years. “We had a customer come in last night and say that they had bought trees from us for the last 16 years,” Connie said.

Across town at the Walmart parking lot, Tom’s Trees operator Tom Verbrugge was supposed to be enjoying his first day off in four weeks.

“But I can’t even call it a day off,” Verbrugge said by telephone. “I’ve got about 20 things I’ve got to do today.”

Verbrugge has been in the business for 15 years and got into it after his work as a machine operator in the logging industry dried up.

He acquired a 40-acre lot near the airport and started cultivating Christmas trees. The first year he sold them he sold 40 trees. “It’s a hard market to break into,” he said.

Douglas fir is the most popular species of tree Verbrugge sells, he says, with other species making up only five per cent of his sales.

Business is up and down from year to year and various conditions can affect it. American trees dumped into the Canadian market can impact business.

One thing that positively impacted his business this year: “Advertising with the radio,” Verbrugge said. “Our sales are a smidge over last year.”

The Whiskey Creek Tree Farm, operated by Tom’s son Mica, and Naesgaard’s Farm Market also sell Christmas trees.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Just Posted

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum and Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Kids from a MOSS Sailing Camp sail just off Canal Waterfront Park in Alberni Inlet during a day camp in August 2014. (AV NEWS FILE PHOTO)
MOSS Sailing camps return to Alberni Valley

One-week camps designed for kids will take place at Sproat Lake

Robert Gunn of Alberni Climate Action loads garbage discovered in the Alberni Inlet around Cous Creek into his canoe during a recent ocean shoreline cleanup. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Alberni Climate Action group creates NIC scholarship

Students attending college full time may apply through NIC

Two ambulances and a medevac helicopter are on scene at Taylor River Flats rest area on Highway 4 due to a serious motor vehicle incident. (PHOTO COURTESY MAGGIE BROWN)
Highway 4 reopens after accident at Taylor River Flats

Multi-vehicle crash had closed highway to west coast

The Rollin Art Centre is holding children’s art camps this summer. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
ARTS AROUND: Celebrate art in the garden

Rollin Art Centre will host art event on Saturday, June 26

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

Most Read