EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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New Hampshire

December 1, 2010

Tree sales booming in Southern NH

With Thanksgiving over, local charities and businesses are busy selling truckloads of Christmas trees to generate a little green of a different kind.

Tree sales are big business at this time of year, whether it's for charity or for profit.

While some people bought trees the day before Thanksgiving, many Southern New Hampshire sellers didn't put theirs out until the day after — then they watched as shoppers scooped them up on Black Friday.

"It seems to be a little bit earlier this year," said Ron Hill, owner of Shady Hill Greenhouses & Nursery in Londonderry.

He put many of his trees out Friday and said yesterday that several days of sunny weather since then certainly helped sales, especially over the weekend.

"They have been very positive," he said. "I think the weather helps."

While many people had Christmas lights on their homes before Thanksgiving and some had bought their balsams and Fraser firs, Hill is one of several local sellers interviewed who prefers to take one holiday at a time.

"I think we should celebrate Thanksgiving, then do Christmas," he said.

Even if customers aren't coming to buy Christmas trees, they don't necessarily walk away empty-handed.

Katherine Estes of Londonderry, who said she and her husband, Andrew, usually put up an artificial tree each year, stopped off at Shady Hill yesterday afternoon to buy her second wreath in two days.

"It was so beautiful, I came back today," she said.

At Windham Junction Country Gift Shop & Kitchen, owner Jon Normington said he's noticed a lot of people are in the holiday spirit.

Normington has sold more than half of the approximately 200 trees he put out for sale Friday. He will soon buy more from a grower in Canada and said he expects to sell at least 400 this season. His small trees sell for about $25 and large ones go for up to $150.

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