: News

How Christmas Trees Weather A Recession

Play associated audio
Hugh Rodell, owner of a wholesale tree business in Maryland, says Christmas trees are usually "one of the last expenses to cut out" of spending for the holidays.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tamburix/
Hugh Rodell, owner of a wholesale tree business in Maryland, says Christmas trees are usually "one of the last expenses to cut out" of spending for the holidays.

Old City Green is a garden center right near D.C.'s Convention Center. The Christmas trees and steaming cider give a sense of serenity, but business is booming.

Frank Asher cuts the stump off one of the few Christmas trees left on his lot.

"I sold most of my trees the first weekend of December, which was very, very unusual and pleasantly surprising," he says.

Old City Green opened a few years ago, just as the recession started, and business around the holidays wasn't so great.

"The first two Christmases I had over 100 trees left over that I mulched and used for compost," he says.

Hugh Rodell owns Northstar Christmas Trees, a wholesale tree business in Adelphi, Md. He says Christmas trees are usually fairly resistant to economic downturns.

"It is one of the last expenses to cut out -- it's such a pivotal piece of anyone's Christmas that it's hard to even imagine not having a Christmas tree," Rodell says.

People do shop around more for them, and, he says, the average tree got smaller by a few feet as people tried to shave costs.

"The Christmas tree has shrunk, in a way to put it..." he says.

Back at Old City Green, Asher says this year, trees are getting bigger again.

"People were really wanting to get kind of a bigger tree, and they were a lot more festive this year," he says.

Although Asher says the tiniest tabletop trees still sold out.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Aug. 4, 2015

You can see two exhibits and rub elbows with the artists behind the work.
WAMU 88.5

The Surprising Roots of Barbecue

We speak with culinary historian Michael Twitty about the roots of familiar southern dishes in African and Native American food traditions.

WAMU 88.5

President Obama's Iran Speech

Veteran journalist Marvin Kalb joins us to discuss the parallels between JFK's nuclear disarmament speech fifty years ago and President Obama's speech on the nuclear deal with Iran.

NPR

Sexist Reactions To An Ad Spark #ILookLikeAnEngineer Campaign

After being surprised by online responses to her appearance in a recruiting ad, engineer Isis Wenger wanted to see if anyone else felt like they didn't fit a "cookie-cutter mold."

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.