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Expect big changes at Christmas tree farms and tree lots this holiday season

As Christmas draws nearer, Christmas tree lots are having to reconsider how they operate to keep everyone safe this season.

It’s hard to believe but we are 31 days away from Christmas as of Tuesday. 

This year many of us might be getting ready to put the tree up a little sooner than years past. As you head to your favorite Christmas tree farm or lot, be ready to see some changes because of COVID-19. 

One Christmas tree lot that’s going to be ready to sell trees later this week is just outside the parking lot of Saint Ignatius Catholic School in Southeast Portland.

Scout Master Mike Benson has been running his tree lot with Scout Troop 351 for years. 

He said every aspect of his lot has been impacted by the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Oregon, so he’s been making changes to make it safe for his troop and their families, as well as his customers. 

Benson reconfigured the lot so there’s more space, he added hand sanitizing stations and there will no longer be tags on trees to reduce touchpoints. One thing that’s really going to be different this year, is customers will have the chance to go through a drive-thru to get their tree.

“A cashier will come to your window and take payments there, and then they’ll deliverer it to your car,” said Benson. It’s not just tree lots that are making changes, so are local Christmas tree farms. 

Tom Norby is the President of the Oregon Christmas Tree Growers Association and owner of Trout Creek Tree Farm. He says many farms are keeping it simple this year, just selling trees and nothing extra like holiday decorations.

“There's not going to be as many lots this year some of the lots decided not to because of the COVID," said Norby.

Benson’s tree lot will be open later this week but he’s already to started kicking off the holiday season, “I think people are just really excited to get this season started we all should be, it’s time to end 2020 with a massive celebration."