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Local Christmas tree sales kick off next week, despite shortage

A local Christmas tree lot (courtesy of Peter Golkin)

(Updated at 6:30 p.m.) With cold weather here, holiday music returning, and Thanksgiving a week away, it’s time for many to pick out that perfect Christmas tree.

Arlington has several Christmas tree sales, though that number seems to have diminished in 2021 compared to recent years. Unsurprisingly the pandemic is playing a role, but another cause is a reported tree shortage.

Supply chain issues, wildfires and heat waves in the Pacific Northwest, shipping delays, and a pine tree pest infestation in Kentucky are all contributing factors to the nationwide shortage.

The Knights of Columbus Christmas tree lot at Our Lady of Lourdes, on 23rd Street S. near Crystal City, won’t be having a sale this year, after cancelling in 2020 due to Covid-related concerns. This time around, the shortage is the primary reason.

“Our supplier for the last 15 years recently informed us that he had supply chain issues and would not be able to provide us with trees this year,” a spokesperson told ARLnow. “We contacted various other farms in North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia but none were able to provide trees either.”

They plan on coming back next year, however.

“We will work during the offseason to establish a relationship with a new supplier and plan on opening next year,” the group said.

The Arlington South Lions Club also won’t be having its sale near the intersection of Columbia Pike and Four Mile Run Drive in 2021, a club member said. It would have been the sale’s 59th year. The cancellation is not Covid- or shortage-related, we’re told.

Below is a list of sales that ARLnow has confirmed are happening.

  1. The Optimist Club of Arlington is holding its 75th annual sale at the corner of N. Glebe Road and Lee Highway, directly behind the Wells Fargo Bank and next to Metro 29 diner. It starts at noon on Friday, Nov. 26, the day after Thanksgiving. The sale will be daily until the trees are sold out. Organizers claim it to be “the LARGEST tree lot in all of Northern Virginia by volume” and sell about 2,500 trees a year. All trees are grown on the Virginia and North Carolina border and cut on Nov. 23 and Nov. 30. They recommend buying early since it’s anticipated they’ll sell out by Dec. 12. Proceeds go to youth sports programs and scholarships.
  2. St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church at 4000 Lorcom Lane in Cherrydale also kicks off its sale on Friday, Nov. 26, the day after Thanksgiving. Two-hundred trees will from Vermont will be offered. The hours are Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Organizers are recommending buying early since 85% of the trees were sold during the first weekend. Volunteers are needed.
  3. The Clarendon United Methodist Church at 606 N. Irving Street is holding its pre-sale now with tree pick-up starting on Saturday, Nov. 27. There will also be a lot set up for those who wish to come in person. However, only 200 trees are available (plus a number of wreaths) and the church expects to sell out quickly. All the trees come from Canada, cost $75, and proceeds will go to the non-profit Arlington Thrive.
  4. The boys and girls of Scout Troop 167 are partnering with Mount Olivet United Methodist Church at 1500 N. Glebe Road in the Ballston area this year for a Christmas tree sale. The sale will only be for three days, the weekend after Thanksgiving. It starts Friday evening and runs through Sunday afternoon. A rain date will be the following weekend. Wreaths, medium, and large trees will be available. There’ll be no small trees this year due to drought but bigger trees can be trimmed. Pre-ordering and, even, home delivery are available this year.
  5. Boy Scout Troop 162 is again hosting its Christmas tree sale at the Dominion Hills pool parking lot at 5960 Wilson Blvd. The sale kicks off on Friday, Nov. 26 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Regular hours are Monday-Friday from 4-8 p.m. and weekends from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wreaths and garlands will also be sold. Cash, checks and credit cards will be accepted. “Boy Scout Troop 162 has been selling Christmas trees to their Arlington neighbors since the early 1970’s,” says the troop’s Facebook page. “We are proud to say that we have sold trees to generations of families and look forward to many more years!”

Aware of any other local Christmas tree sales? Let us know in the comments.

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