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Real trees still the cheapest way to go

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Now that Thanksgiving is over its time to think about Christmas and putting up the tree.

Every year, 25 to 30 million real trees are sold in the U.S. and they are still the cheapest way to go unless you want to make a long-term investment in an artificial one.

At  Big Jim's Tree Lot in the Target parking lot in East Memphis, trees are selling anywhere from $35- $300.

The manager of the lot said it all depends on the size of the tree and the variety.

"We have about seven different kinds of trees,"  said Kenny Hendges.

At some of the big box stores real trees a bit cheaper, and at the tree farms, where you can cut down your own tree, the price is somewhere in the middle.

"Anywhere from $49-$99 depending on the height, variety and quality," said Mullins Doles.

Doles has been running the Merry Christmas Tree farm in Nesbit, Mississippi for 25 years.

"My wife and I own the place and all our children and grandchildren and even have some great-grandchildren are working here," said Doles.

He is growing around 4,000 Leyland Cypress trees right now and also ships in Fraser Firs from North Carolina.

He'll sell up to 800 of the trees before Christmas.

"We try to make it a good experience for them," said Doles.

Along with the tree, Doles and his crew throw in free hayrides,  coffee and hot apple cider.

Despite a dry October and wind storm earlier this month, he said it's been a good year for his crop and he expects it to be a good year for Christmas tree sales.

"They don't have to cut their tree.  We'll cut it for them if they choose," said Doles.

He said once Christmas is over they'll start all over again planting new trees.


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