This holiday season, local businesses across the state are hoping to cash in on holiday sales, including Delaware tree farmers.
More than 30 Delaware farmers are selling locally-grown Christmas trees including firs, spruces and pines.
Leslie Hickman has co-owned Hickman’s Tree Farm with her husband Bill for more than 30 years.
Despite the weather, Hickman said their 32 acre farm in Smyrna has been busy since they opened on Thanksgiving weekend.
“We had people here until five o’clock last night,” said Hickman.
She said they’ll stay open as late as December 23rd as long as they have trees left to sell. She said the amount of available trees varies from year to year depending on the growing season.
The ideal tree height is six to seven feet and according to the Delaware Department of Agriculture, that can take 7-10 years to grow. The specialized business requires year-round work from farmers.
According to 2007 data from the USDA Census of Agriculture, more than 10,800 Christmas trees were harvested in Delaware on more than 385 acres of land.
Trees range in price depending on type and size.
To encourage more local farm shopping, the state has launched “Delaware Fresh” a mobile application that allows users to find Delaware farms and markets across the state.
“It’s great family fun to pick out just the right locally-grown tree for your house,” said Ed Kee, secretary of the Delaware Department of Agriculture. “Buying from a Delaware farm is a guarantee to get the freshest tree and support our local tree farmers at the same time.”