An Irish Christmas tree grower has already sold twice as many trees online as in the whole of last year.
On Down to Business this morning, Bobby Kerr got the lay of the land from three of the country’s main Christmas tree suppliers.
Martin Kelleher, Chair of Irish Christmas Tree Growers, said he will be opening up his farm to the public from next week.
He said lockdown has seen a huge number of people getting in early this year, with record online sales in recent weeks.
“What we have found this year is the online sales have been incredible,” he said.
“We have sold double the amount trees online at this stage compared to the whole of last year, so people are actually purchasing trees online,” he said.
“We will be opening up our farm from December 1st so people can come in, go through the field and select a tree and all that from then on but we have been so busy providing trees, both click and collect and online.”
He said the rise in working from home has seen a drop in orders from commercial premises and offices – but many people are using their extra free time to make sure they get the best tree possible this year.
“We wouldn’t be delivering the same number of trees to the centre of Dublin that we would in other years so it has affected that,” he said.
“People seem to be at home with more time on their hands and they seem to be researching Christmas trees a bit more so that, I think, has increased the interest in the real tree this year as opposed to other years.”
Click and collect
Meanwhile, John Brennan, owner of IrishChristmasTrees.com said online purchases work best for artificial trees.
“Customers like to come out and see their Christmas tree,” he said.
“We have click and collect and it is working extremely well from our outlet in Milltown.
“We are inundated with orders for click and collect and we just have them ready for customers out of the bags and when they come along, they have three or four to pick from which gives them the experience of choosing a tree.”
He said Christmas trees are very personal choice for many families.
“Often, we get a captain of industry coming in to buy a Christmas tree, sails up saying, ‘give us a Christmas tree for the house’ and he is back in five minutes because the missus doesn’t like it,” he said.
“People take it personally and they can be very fussy so it is important to give them the choice.
“So, the click and collect works because they have them in front of them and they normally pick one and take it away with them.”
Meanwhile Christy Kavanagh of Kavanagh Christmas Trees said the best trees for retaining their needles are the Noble Fir and the Korean Fir.
He said trees should be kept on a water stand and kept away from the warmest places in the house to keep them in the best condition.
He said his company doesn’t promote “plastic trees from China that end up in landfill; we’ll be promoting the real thing.”
You can listen back here: