Drum roll … we’ve completed our one-day tour of West Seattle Christmas-tree sellers (yes, “Christmas trees,” not holiday trees, sigh). From the Holy Rosary lot in the north, to the 28th & Roxbury lot in the south, here’s what we found:
CHEAPEST GOOD-QUALITY TREES: $13 for flimsy-but-fresh Chubby-n-Tubby-style Douglas firs of varying heights at West Seattle Nursery. The nursery also had good-sized thickly needled D-first around $25. Runner-up in this category, Home Depot on Delridge, with nice 7′ Douglas or Grand firs and 5′-ish Noble firs for around $30.
MOST EXPENSIVE TREES: Tony’s (35th & Barton) … we think. No tags on the trees, no price list posted; the guys working the lot were too crazy-busy to answer questions; the person at the register ventured to say she thought Noble firs were $10-$12 per foot but wasn’t entirely sure and didn’t know anything else. Personalized pricing, I guess. (We have quoted this lot in the past and also noted high prices. But a nice selection, to be sure. And the only place you can get flocked trees. Funny the trees are expensive, since the produce Tony’s sells the rest of the year is very low-priced.)
TREES THAT BENEFIT OTHERS: The Holy Rosary lot has beneficiaries (WS Helpline and Hickman House). (We thought “Donna’s Trees” outside Westwood QFC – whose D-fir prices are fairly reasonable, $29 for the 5′-ish and $33 for the 6′-ish – did as well, but can’t find proof to back that up.) None of the other sellers appeared to have any nonprofit aspects.
SCANTIEST SELECTION: Both WS Rite-Aids selling trees, in Westwood Village and on Cali Ave south of the Junction, had just a handful when we stopped by. Outside the WV Rite-Aid, a couple shoppers were heard sniffing, “We bought one here before and had to replace it before Christmas.” WV had only D-firs left, $20 for the 5′-ish trees and $30 for the 6′-ish trees; the RA on Cali had one N-fir, 7′-ish, for $60.
WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT NOBLE FIRS: There are two kinds, “natural” and “plantation.” The latter is denser. The former has more space between tiers of branches. The only place I found more than a few of the “natural” types was “Turnbull’s Trees” next to Sally’s Beauty Supply in Westwood Village. (Its sign touting $7/foot for N-firs refers to those particular types; the other types are $9/foot.)
OUR NEW FAVORITE CHRISTMAS TREE TYPE: Fraser firs, misspelled at just about every lot where we found them. Beautiful blue-green underside to the branches. Turnbull’s at WV has them for $8/foot; the tree-seller on the west side of the Roxbury Safeway parking lot has them for varying prices which we failed to write down in the morning downpour; TrueValue has them for about $8/foot; WSN carries them too.
BIG-TREE BARGAIN: TrueValue has 8′-9′ Noble firs on sale for an extra 10% off, resulting in a price around $65.
We’ll do a little more math for price breakdowns to post on the Holiday Stuff page. Keep in mind, this completely nonscientific price survey was done today, and these prices of course could well change by the time you go find your tree. And let us know if you’ve made any discoveries that we didn’t!