Trader Du Berlais, in the care of Fred Valliere, is a pretty traditional vendor selling his traditional Christmas tree up and down the streets of Long Island City, Queens. Mr. Valliere says that they’ve already had a good Christmas, but would like to have to have one more. Mr. Valencie has seen a big drop in demand for real trees, like Mr. Du Berlais’s.”People don’t even care anymore. We get them coming in from other places.””Thank God we aren’t selling trees on the curb. It costs too much,” said Mr. Valliere. “That extra hour here costs us $900, $900 to get up here.””My other Christmas tree is three times as big,” said Mr. Du Berlais.
So how much is it now to buy a real tree in New York City? “It’s tough,” said Mr. Du Berlais. “I didn’t even think of it. I had to run the numbers. It’s $35 for the tree itself.””It’s a little more for the stand. Some places they charge $5, $6. Anything over three to a stand. And it has to come pre-cut, but it’s five times more than it used to be. It’s an extra $30 for the bagging.” “Oh, yes,” he said, laughing. “It’s $7.”