MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - Tis the season for the quintessential Christmas decoration: a Christmas tree.
WHNT NEWS 19 did some homework for you to find the best prices of trees, artificial and real, around North Alabama. We found quite a bit of difference in prices, depending on what type of tree you prefer.
Roger Schwerman and his wife Pat have operated Schwerman Christmas Tree Plantation in Lacey's Spring for 40 years.
"This is what it's all about," said Schwerman. "To see a little kid come out here and get his first tree is just.. wow!"
His is one of only two near Huntsville. The other one is Valley Christmas Tree Plantation in New Market. Schwerman said years ago, there were about 400 tree farms around the state, but now there are only about a dozen.
He and other tree farmers blame the reduction on demands for convenience and lower pricing.
so, he looks for ways to save money.
"Love to save money," said Schwerman. "I do everything I can on the farm to save money."
He has learned to do things cheaper to keep his prices down.
"Rather than using chemicals to control the bad bugs, the aphids and some of those kinda things and wasps, what we do is we use good bugs, praying mantis and those types of things to take care of the bad bugs," Schwerman explained.
Because of that, he can sell his trees for six dollars a foot, as well as smaller seedlings and trees in pots, starting at $20 each. And he insists one of his trees is better than what the big box stores offer.
"It doesn't have any mold or mildew, which is one of the things that a lot of people you buy from big box store, where they're dead trees, means they've been cut for six weeks, brought in from somewhere."
The cheapest artificial one listed on Lowe's website is $34. The cheapest real one is about $20.
The prices go up from there depending on size and whether the tree comes with lights.
The lowest price we found for an artificial tree at Home Depot is about $16. Real trees start at $109 each.
Many of the trees at Trees and Trends are artificial and are deeply discounted right now.
The cheapest one we found costs $47.99.
Some other tricks to save money: wait until the day before Christmas to buy your tree, then you might be able to barter down the price.
Or, wait until after Christmas and purchase an artificial one at clearance prices.
If you have a real tree, don't forget to water it daily. Remember: once you cut a tree, you cannot re-plant it. Ones that are in pots can definitely grow in your back yard for many years to come.