Christmas tree vendors prepare for upcoming demand

It is that time of year when many people will be on the hunt for their perfect Christmas tree to celebrate the upcoming holiday. One local business is ready to supply those families with just that.

"It's a family run business," said Beau Cohen, owner of Papa Noel Christmas Trees.

Cohen says his father started up the business in 1976 and sold his first ever Christmas tree in Austin in 1981. The family has been selling trees in Central Texas ever since.

"My dad always loved this part of the year, being down here and just watching customers come back to our lot year after year and just seeing those traditions and memories being created right in front of them," he said.

However, instead of doing this with his dad, Cohen will be handling this Christmas season without his dad.

"He sadly passed away this year from cancer, and that is why I'm now the owner, so I am following in his footsteps and trying to fill some of the big shoes," said Cohen.

It is a challenge for this son to run his father’s business, but it is a challenge he has accepted with open arms to carry out his father’s legacy.

"There's been many times when, you know, I would just want to pick up the phone and call him. Just seeing so many families enjoying themselves and the kids running around the trees and just the laughter and the music, I mean, it really kind of just gets me into the holiday spirit and, you know, it just makes me look forward to Christmas," said Cohen.

There are seven Papa Noel locations in Austin and one in San Antonio. Each location gets weekly fresh shipments of trees from their farm in North Carolina.

"So far the season is performing well," said Cohen.

Overall, Cohen says the Christmas tree industry is not seeing any shortages this year. He says anyone who wants a real tree should have no problems getting one.

"Some retailers may not be able to keep up with demand, or they may not have the available inventory for them. Personally, for Papa Noel, we have a very strong inventory, and we're expecting weekly shipments all the way through to mid-December," he said.

Prices range anywhere from $30 for a tabletop tree to just over $200 for an 8-foot tree. It just depends on the characteristics of the tree.

Cohen says it is going to be tough to do this alone, but he is ready to help families in Central Texas celebrate the upcoming holiday.

"It's a great business to be in, and it's one of, I think the few businesses that I know of in the industries, that really just provide so much joy for so many families," he said.