Would You Buy Your Christmas Tree Online?

In November, Target started selling fresh-cut Christmas trees on their website, joining Costco in the growing number of companies who have turned to the web to offer holiday greenery.

While the National Christmas Tree Association (yes, there is such a thing) estimates that online sales only make up around 3% of all tree sales, that still adds up to around 1 million trees.

One family-owned tree farm in Minnesota tells the Chicago Tribune that online sales account for around 10% of its business. The owner of the farm downplays the idea that ordering online completely takes away the personal choice aspect of Christmas tree buying.

“If someone says they want a 6- or 7-foot tree, I go out that evening and find it, and Federal Express picks it up the next morning,” he says. “We treat it special. Usually that time of year, we’re able to scoop some snow into the bag. People tell us they never knew you could get a tree that fresh.”

Considering that more than 75% of you said you are doing most, if not all of your holiday shopping online this year, we were curious to see how many of you would be willing to purchase a tree over the internet:

Christmas tree buying moving online [Chicago Tribune]


Edit Your Comment

  1. NORMLgirl says:

    No, I went to Costco and bought it for $33.99 in person

    • SBinVA says:

      I’m glad I wasn’t the only one that about fell over at that price tag. For $160 it better vacuum up its fallen needles on its own, assist in wrapping paper clean up, and dispose of itself by New Year’s day.

  2. Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

    I live on a 1.6 acre property. When I want my Christmas tree, I’ll get my step-father to oil and sharpen the chainsaw ;D

  3. namcam says:

    those prices are crazy. best ones you can buy along the road cost $30!

  4. cash_da_pibble says:

    Yeah, I guess I could get a tree online.
    I’m not terribly picky about my tree…
    I wouldn’t go so far as to NOT get a tree, but we usually wait until about a week before Christmas to get one.

  5. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    I voted, even though I don’t buy real Christmas trees (not a fan of the smell). I would buy my fake Christmas tree online, though, if I needed one. I didn’t when I last bought a new one because I had a coupon for an in-store purchase.

    • Snoofin says:

      Yeah but all the aftificial trees suck these days. Its next to impossible to find one that ISNT prelit. Prelit trees suck. I like my old Christmas lights much better than there crappy LED lights they make today. LED lights dont glow, they are dim unless you look at them straight on and they just dont compare to my old C-6 and C-9 bulbs from the 70s. Yes, I know they make repros of those lights but they are just a LED inside a bulb casing to mimick the look, but they still suck.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        I was definitely able to find one that wasn’t pre-lit. I specifically looked for ones that weren’t because I wanted to be put on my own lights.

  6. MDSasquatch says:

    My Father-in-Law owns a tree farm in California, he sends us a tree every year; it usually arrives totally unscathed and fresh. Buying one online doesn’t seem like much of a risk.

  7. Blueskylaw says:

    For $159.99, shipping should not only be free but also delivered by Santa himself bearing gifts of freshly baked cookies and fresh squeezed orange juice.

    • larrymac thinks testing should have occurred says:

      Sorry, the standard contract calls for the cookies to be provided FOR Santa, along with milk.

    • c!tizen says:

      Seriously! If I pay $160 for a tree it better arrive with $120 worth of presents under it.

  8. MongoAngryMongoSmash says:

    some assembly required…

    Hey, wait a minute!

  9. spamtasticus says:

    I stopped buying dead xmas trees 15 years ago. I have a beautiful pine tree in a pot outside my house and move it in for xmas then move it out after xmas. Voila!

    • earthprince says:

      I like this idea. Can’t believe its the first time I’ve heard of such a thing.

      • webweazel says:

        We used to buy “live trees” for Christmas. It came with the root ball in canvas. We left the canvas on and stuck it in a large bucket with some sand to hold it in place. After the holidays, we let it sit outside for a few weeks to acclimate, then planted it out in the yard. This was nice because it never dried out or dropped needles while decorated.

      • spamtasticus says:

        It started when I was a kid. We grew up in the Andes and there was a big reforestation push so the supermarkets started selling little 1 foot xmas pines for practically nothing next to the checkout line. I bought one as a little kid and of course that first xmas I thought it would be cool to decorate my miniature tree. After xmas I put it in a big pot outside. When they got too big we would plant them out in a certain place in our property. If you go there today there are 5 or so pines well over 40 feet high that once where my xmas trees. Now days I keep them in smaller pots so they don’t grow to big and are manageable. One trick is to use a plastic pot that looks like a ceramic one but is way lighter. Also mix in about %20 foam beads into the dirt to lower the weight. The kind you would find in those old 70s bean bag chairs.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      That’s a GREAT idea. I think I may have a pine seed floating around somewhere…

  10. Supes says:

    If the price was right (including delivery) of course I would. It’s a temporary decoration, not something I’m too discriminating about.

    Looks like the price isn’t there yet, but I’ll keep an eye out in the future.

  11. ARP says:

    I’d just be worried about having big gaps in the branches, it being lopsided, etc. If they could maintain some quality control, I’d buy online.

  12. human_shield says:

    All those cheap trees on the corner and at grocery stores were cut days ago, sit on a lot for several more days or longer. Terrible and unfresh. Never had one that didn’t look like it was dying by Christmas. Freshly cut trees from a local grower still look new on New Years.

  13. KJR52 says:

    We technically bought our tree online this year. We have a super-teeny apartment though, so we got a little Rosmary plant in the shape of a Christmas tree through an online florist.

    When/if the time comes that we’re in a place big enough to have a real tree, I’d most definitely buy it in person. I wanna see it before it gets to my doorstep!

  14. Chmeeee says:

    Holy hell those things are expensive. My 6.5′ Blue Spruce cost me $30 at a tree farm with flat prices regardless of size.

    I would never buy online. For me half of the fun is wandering through a field arguing over which is the best tree, getting sap all over you while moving the tree on/into the car, etc. Without that, I might as well just get a fake one and be done with it.

  15. evilcharity says:

    No. We have a lot of heavy ornaments, so I like to scope out a tree with lots of strong branches to hold them. Also, is the price on the image for this story correct? $160 is an outrageous price for a Christmas tree, even if it is delivered. I paid less than a third than that and had the tree home in under 20 minutes.

  16. jessjj347 says:

    Can we get an “undecided” or “maybe” option?

  17. Bativac says:

    Picking the perfect tree is a time-honored tradition. I remember spending an hour in a tree lot (full of trees from a nearby farm) with my dad and siblings, picking up trees, sizing them up from every angle, and finally settling on just the right one. I take the same time with my wife picking out a tree. Just not the same.

    Plus the insanely expensive price. I laughed. My 9 footer was $32.

  18. MonkeyMonk says:

    Why would I do this when I have a neighbor with 25 acres of land filled with beautiful specimens. That reminds me that I need to get some black clothes and batteries for the flashlight.

  19. McRib wants to know if you've been saved by the Holy Clown says:

    I make my own Christmas trees at home.

  20. mobiuschic42 says:

    Where’s the “No, I’m getting/already have an artificial tree” option?

  21. Donathius says:

    My wife looked at the ones from Home Depot online and I couldn’t believe they were wasking $150 for them. Those would have to be some pretty fantastic trees.

    We ended up getting a very nice tree from the Lowe’s down the street for $34 and we got to pick it out.

  22. Back to waiting, but I did get a cute dragon ear cuff says:

    What is this Christmas you speak of?

    Sorry, 2nd night tonight and I have to work late.

    But no, would not buy online. My father remarried a Christian and she had a real tree for the first few years of their marriage. After seeing some of the trees that the roadside stands had, I would not even consider this if it was for me. Some of the $20 ones (back in the 80’s) Charlie Brown would not even look at, and some of them at the same place for the same price would be fit for the White House.

    And why would anyone celebrate this supposedly sacred and holy day/season with a fake tree?

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Because real trees aren’t for everyone? Surprise, I know, people aren’t all the same. Besides, artificial trees date back to the 1800s, so it’s not a modern invention by any means.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      I love my fake tree from Lowe’s. It’s one of those skinny ones that doesn’t sprawl wider at the bottom so it fits in any corner of my teeny living room in my tiny house. It doesn’t shed, it doesn’t smell and doesn’t need water. I don’t have to dispose of it after Christmas, and it’s sturdy enough to hold anything I put on it.

    • Morwen says:

      Because the trees aren’t part of the holy story? The trees come from older pagan traditions that Christianity “borrowed” – along with holly, mistletoe, the date, yule logs, etc. IMO, a fake tree doesn’t affect the religious aspects at all.

  23. Rose says:

    No way. Fake in-person tree purchases, all the way.

  24. Shadowman615 says:

    I would, if cost was comparable to what you can buy in person. Prices from both stores are at least 3x that — even with free shipping.

  25. NumberSix says:

    To: “Yes” voters:

    Do you just not give a crap what your tree looks like?

  26. Chip Skylark of Space says:

    I’d be looking for a button to click on the web page that would cause the tree to jump and down. I’d be looking to see how many needles drop when I do that.

  27. Dukebruno says:

    Having made the mistake of purchasing something from Target On-Line I can advise any prospective purchaser to expect delivery of that Christmas tree by Valentine’s day. Oh, and don’t expect Target to have any idea when the tree will ship. They sent me an email telling me that my product was shipping “soon.” The email arrived 3 days after the product was in my home.

  28. stevied says:

    $160 ???

    Does the tree do the dishes or perform wifely duties for that price?

  29. Ragman says:

    I would want to see the tree in person. I do artificial anyways, so the only way I’d buy online is if I got to see the model in store first.

    I make my own pre-lit trees at home…. Seriously. I got tired of dealing with the light strings a few years ago, so I broke out the green and black cable ties and got busy. Now my tree is prelit with something like 800 incandescent multi colored bulbs. Looks a lot better than wrapping the strings around it.