For the first time in its decades-long history, the East Coast Garden Center is dipping its toes in the Christmas tree market the best way they know how – with live, ball-and-burlapped Douglas firs.
Chris Cordrey, garden center co-owner, said if the business was going to get into the holiday tree market, it had to be done in a manner that reflected its personality. Instead of live, but really dead, trees, he said, describing traditional trees, these are genuinely live trees.
“We’re plant people here,” said Cordrey, the person who was inspired to try the experiment after a customer mentioned a West Coast operation doing something similar. “It’s something that’s not the typical Christmas tree option.”
Cordrey said the garden center is starting the program conservatively this year – buying 50 Douglas firs, ranging in size from 4 to 7 feet. The garden center is offering customers different options – a 5-foot-tree can be rented for $119 or used and then planted in a customer’s yard after Christmas is over for $279.
If incorporated correctly, a Douglas fir can fit in nicely into a yardscape, Cordrey said.
Chris said the garden center’s crew will come and set up the tree inside or out, and come get the tree when Christmas is over. Not everybody has a truck, he said.
Recommended tree delivery dates depend on the selected staging option, because, Cordrey said, there will be a level of shock for trees brought indoors. Customers who choose to have their trees kept outside can have them delivered starting Friday, Dec. 1. For those who want indoor trees, the garden center will deliver them beginning Monday, Dec. 18. Cordrey said trees can be staged indoors for up to 18 days.
Chris said maintenance is easy once the trees are delivered. All it takes is 2 quarts of slowly poured water per week.
Rick Cordrey, Chris’ dad, co-founded the East Coast Garden Center in 1990. He said he thought the idea of renting a Christmas tree was cool. As much as anything, he said, trying something new is good.
“It’s always hard to come up with new ideas,” he said.
For more information call the East Coast Garden Center, 30366 Cordrey Road, Millsboro, at 302-945-5853 or go to eastcoastgardencenter.com. Center hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.