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Where are the Christmas tree lots in Yuba-Sutter?
Christmas past provided more tree lots in Yuba City like Bambi's, Baker's and Clark & Conley — and the Linda Fire Department's site along Lindhurst Avenue.
Before artificial trees and the entry of Save Mart, Walmart and Food Maxx into Christmas tree sales, the corner lot was common.
"I do remember more," said Loma Rica resident Craig Walker, 30.
The painting contractor was picking up a tree on Monday at Baker's, where Jerry Brown, 42, said corporate stores have not cut into sales.
"I really don't think it hurt us," said Brown.
Brown, Neal Baker's brother-in-law, said the trees come from the 100 acres Baker owns in Hillsboro, Ore. Four hundred more of them were delivered Friday. Fewer than 40 trees were left Monday.
But Brown, who grew up in Yuba City, agrees that the number of corner Christmas tree lots has dropped. Yuba City once had a half-dozen and Live Oak had one as well, he said.
Chelece Divelbiss, co-owner of Bambi's along Highway 99, said her operation is helped by its 25-year history.
"We have our regular customers," she said. "Now the kids come."
At the Clark & Conley lot that started this year next to the North Valley Calvary Chapel, the appeal of trees at Walmart is understood. Megan Conley, a co-owner, said it is convenient for cramped schedules during the holidays. She used to buy them.
But tree lots like the one she and her husband, Jeremiah, along with Sela Clark and her husband, Vincent, own have better quality trees sold by local families.
Even owners of artificial trees have been among the customers, Megan Conley said. They miss having a real tree at home.
The Linda Fire Department has sold trees as a fundraiser since the 1970s, said Assistant Chief Bob Criss. The department donates most of the money from its tree sales to support groups including Little League, Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts, said Criss. Walmart and Food Maxx sell the trees at cost to lure shoppers, he said.
Olivehurst resident Trudy Comeau bought a tree Monday from the Fire Department and said she likes the quality of its trees.
"Buying trees is like buying jewelry," she said. "You've got to make sure you do it right."
Billy Gardner, an engineer with Linda Fire, said the prices are right, too.
"We haven't marked ours up for at least 10 years," he noted.
CONTACT Ryan McCarthy at email@example.com or 749-4780. Find him on Facebook at /ADrmccarthy or on Twitter at @ADrmccarthy.