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SF Chronicle reporter: Biz angles abound – even for Christmas trees

Creating family memories is one reason consumers cite for harvesting fresh Christmas trees, according to Carolyn Said's story in the San Francisco Chronicle. Image by Flicker user funky fat girl.

Business reporter Carolyn Said of the San Francisco Chronicle needed a brite for the holiday season. The prevalence of lots and farms to purchase Christmas trees led to a story about tree sellers. The story ends with this quote from longtime seller Karen Fishback about how the recession has been good for business:

“’In 42 years, we’ve had a lot of ups and downs in the economy. When the economy is down, people tend to want to go back to basics,’ she said. ‘A nice, fresh tree is an inexpensive treat.’”

Today’s Tip: Everything has a business angle, and almost everything has a trade association, Carolyn says.

Carolyn Said, business reporter, San Francisco Chronicle

Carolyn Said

“With almost anything, you can go behind the scenes to get the money angle,” she says. In this case, the National Christmas Tree Association provided details on where people buy live trees: 32 percent go to chose-and-harvest farms. Here’s a directory of associations.

One thing she wanted to add but couldn’t because of deadlines, she says, was how much the trees contribute to the annual budgets of those charities selling them.

As fellow blog writer Melissa Preddy notes in this post, the Christmas tree story can be an annual staple. Carolyn made this story more interesting by learning how the sellers got involved in the business and how much the income covers – for one, it’s just the annual property tax bill on the tree farm. She also adds color, such the tree-farm owner who also teaches full-time and vents his frustration after school by whacking at a tree.

You can also look for new angles, such as this story in the Los Angeles Times about a local company that rents Christmas trees.

In Agriculture, Economy, Featured, Retail | Lifestyle, Story ideas.

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