Christmas trees make for good business, fund raising in Wilton

Before ornaments are unpacked and garland is draped over windowpanes, families can spend entire weekends looking for the perfect Christmas tree … and Wilton businesses and organizations are not complaining. Both Young’s Nursery and the Friends of Ambler Farm have had striking Christmas tree success over the past few years.

Carrie Ricciardi, a manager at Young’s Nursery, orders only premium Fraser firs from a farm in North Carolina.

“All the Frasers are consistently nice,” she said by phone on Friday, six days before Christmas. “We stock anywhere from a three-foot to a 13-foot tree.”

However, Ms. Ricciardi says, getting the perfect tree anywhere in Wilton is all about timing.

“Come early, especially to Young’s,” she said, “Our trees come in the day after Thanksgiving, and people are already waiting. Over the course of that weekend, and the following weekend, we sell anywhere from 60 to 70 trees per day” at prices ranging from $35 to $325 per tree.

At the Ambler Farm greens sale, organizers say the best way to get the perfect tree is to pre-order.

“We send out the postcard in early November,” Ambler volunteer Emily Humiston said on Monday, “so they can pre-order their trees. Pre-orders can come in the first day of the sale from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and they get their choice, because we only sell to pre-orders during that time period. You get first pick at it.”

One of the secrets of Young’s success, Ms. Ricciardi says, is the way they present their trees for shoppers.

“We’re the only ones who hang our trees. We hang them so you can spin them around 360 degrees and really see what it looks like.”

For the team at Ambler, this year was quite literally a perfect success. Of the 378 trees the organization ordered, it sold 378, and not a single other buyer came to ask for another one.

“It was kind of amazing the fact that we sold every tree that we ordered, and didn’t have anyone else come in looking for a tree,” Ms. Humiston said.

Though this year Ambler volunteers did not have as much success selling wreaths and roping as last year, their North Carolina Fraser fir trees were most popular when they were between eight and 10 feet tall, with a nice shape.

“People really liked a nicely shaped tree. A traditional shape. Frasers had been sheared in the field before they were cut down so they were perfect,” she said.

At Ambler, prices for trees ranged from $50 for a six-foot balsam tree to $300 for a 14-foot Fraser fir.