The search for a bargain Christmas tree does not always lead to the Home Depot parking lot

When it came time to buy the family Christmas tree, Katrina Barrientos and Roger Betancourt never bothered to shop around. The couple drove directly to the Home Depot in Cypress Park, where on Monday afternoon they loaded a 6′-7” bushy Douglas fir atop their sedan as their three kids watched from the back seat. The price: $24.98 (stand not included). “I used to shop around but you can’t beat Home Depot,” said Barrientos, who lives in Pasadena. The Cypress Park park hardware store does reign as one of the largest and cheapest sources of Christmas trees on the Eastside. But, in a very random spot check on area Christmas tree lots, The Eastsider found at two least two places – a supermarket in East Los Angeles and a florist in Echo Park- that undercut Home Depot on a Doug fir and a lot in Glassell Park where the same tree cost more than three times as much.

While Douglas firs are among the top-selling Christmas trees around, not everyone is a fan. “Douglas Fir sheds like crazy,” said Aida Takizawa at Darling’s Florist & Nursery in Echo Park. “You are taking them [needles] out of your carpet for six months.” If you don’t mind the needles, click on the link below to review – and participate – in the 2009 Eastside Christmas Tree Price Survey.

Here are the results, ranked from the most expensive to the cheapest, for the 2009 Eastside Christmas Tree Price Survey for a 6′-7″ Douglas fir.

Price: $80 (includes stand and water bowl)
Location: Parking lot in front of Victory Outreach, 4160 Eagle Rock Blvd, Glassell Park
Notes: A salesman who did not want to be identified said that proceeds from the tree sales support the church and its community services. “Nobody can beat Home Depot,” he said. But “I believe god gives us special trees. It’s for a good cause. We are not trying to get rich off it.”

Price: $50 (includes stand and water bowl)
Location: Tahoe Christmas Tree Co. at York Boulevard and Figueroa Street in Highland Park
Notes: You can get your trees flocked in pink, blue and other colors.

Price: $35 (includes stand & bowl)
Location: Front yard of a private home on E. Third Place near Indiana Street in East Los Angeles
Notes: The lot, located between two taco trucks, is across the street from the new Indiana Street Gold Line Station. Not sure if you have to buy your tree a $1.25 ticket to carry it on the train.

Price: $24.75 (includes stand)
Location: Darling’s Florist & Nursery, 1217 W. Temple St., in the southern edge of Echo Park
Notes: Aida Takizawa, one of the owners, said many of the trees are decorated and sold to corporate clients for lobby and store displays. Only about a handful of the $24.75 Douglas fir trees remained as of late Monday.

Price: $22.99 (without stand)
Location: Superior Groceries, 3600 Cesar Chavez Ave., East Los Angeles
Notes: Our low price leader, beating the Cypress Park Home Depot by $1.99. The same tree with a stand costs $28.99

Can your favorite Eastside Christmas tree lot do better than Superior Groceries or Home Depot?

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