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'This is what Santa's helpers do' Coastal Bend nursery provides Christmas tree tips for holiday shoppers

Like most forms of greenery, water is an essential tool for Christmas trees, and Assistant Store Manager Wyatt Page reminds buyers to keep their tree hydrated.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Before Santa makes his long awaited trip to the Coastal Bend, there is one important tradition residents partake in before his arrival: the purchase of a Christmas tree.

Gill Garden Center and Landscape helps residents furnish their homes with trees of various sizes and names. Wyatt Page is the Assistant Manager of Gill's Garden and eagerly awaits the opportunity to help residents with this special festive decision.

"This is what Santa's helpers do," Page said. 

During the winter period, Page adds how busy the nursery becomes on Black Friday, and exactly what goes into giving customers that one special tree. 

“I’ve got a ton of staff today to help customers out to their cars with trees. We’ve got delivery guys running trees to peoples houses,” Page said. 

When purchasing that perfect tree there might be questions shoppers may have lingering in the back of their minds. Holding true to his title, Page makes sure to provide shoppers with tips to make sure their tree stays festive throughout the winter months. 

"If you’re taking a tree home and it takes you longer than 10 minutes to get home, you want to make sure that you put a fresh cone on it at home and then get it into water immediately," Page said. "If you’re going to be home within 10 minutes you don’t have to put a fresh cut on it. You can just get it right into water and it works out really well." 

Like most forms of greenery, water is an essential tool to keep Christmas trees healthy and bright, and Page reminds buyers that it's a step they can't afford to skip out on. 

"Keeping it hydrated is the number one thing you got to do for a Christmas tree," Page said.

Page reminds shoppers that trees, like any other plant require immediate accommodation upon purchase. 

“If you don’t put that fresh cut, your trees not gonna take up water and then your tree might dry out before Christmas,” Page said. 

With supply chains experiencing shortages this year, Christmas trees have also found a way to make it onto that list of limited items. 

“There is a little bit of a Christmas tree shortage right now," Page said. "But luckily, the growers keep it under control, so they’ll never oversell, which is a good thing. We’ll have Christmas trees for years to come.”

Unlike items such as toys or gift cards, trees are a product of their environment, which means that weather conditions play a large role in the production of Christmas trees.

“Weather events are the big thing," Page said. "So in droughts, the trees don’t grow as quickly and they’re not able to start new trees as fast when they’re in a drought. But when they have good rain, that helps them plant more trees.”

And while supply shortages have become apparent in the Coastal Bend, Page explains that buyers have plenty of options to choose from when purchasing a tree. The store carries three different type of trees. 

One of those is a Fraser. 

“They have a little bit more silver on the back which is really nice and a little bit longer needle, longer branch I guess, and the needles are a little bit shorter,” said Page. 

Another type, not as popular as the Fraser, is a Noble. 

“Nobles are typically more layered with bigger thicker needles on them," Page said. "They’re a little bit darker green and so they’re a really popular tree that come from the West Coast." 

Between changing weather, and family convening in close quarters the topic of allergies also plays an important role when purchasing a tree. Page adding that one tree in particular, a Nordmann, could be an ally in the fight against allergies. 

“They cross two different kinds of trees," Page said. "And the tree that is produced from that seed has a really low oil content, which doesn’t mess up your allergies as bad.”

Just like fresh baked cookies, or hand written letters to Santa, there are personal factors to consider when purchasing and handling a Christmas tree. With proper guidance and care, whatever tree you buy has the potential to last the entire winter season. 

For the latest updates on coronavirus in the Coastal Bend, click here.

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