WICKER PARK — In an age of shopping when "Uberfication" is turning so many purchases into a one-click, on-demand process, Christmas trees were bound to follow suit.
Enter City Tree Delivery, a Wicker Park-based online service that hand-delivers trees of varying sizes to homes all over the North Side. What's more, they'll even bring the tree inside and set it up, providing stands, wreaths and garland as requested.
Customers also have the option of going to the City Tree lot, right next to Big Star Restaurant at 1531 N. Damen Ave., to pick out a tree in person and haul it home themselves. But City Tree founder Chris Hohenstein said most customers are willing to shell out more for the convenience of a full-service delivery.
"People don't want to haggle or deal with the elements, they don't want to have to tie it to the top of their car, they don't want to have to go to Home Depot and go through 50 trees just to find the one they want," Hohenstein said. "It takes a lot of the hassle out of the experience just to be able to pick up the phone or go online and have someone show up at your door."
Not only will that person show up, Hohenstein said, but he or she will "water it and make sure it's in the right location" to stay healthy for as long as possible. And come January, for an extra fee, those same deliverers will come pick up the tree and ship it out to be recycled.
Hohenstein recently picked up his first batch of trees from the farm in Michigan where he buys them wholesale. In contrast with other tree retailers, which bring in plants from all over the country, Hohenstein said being able to boast fresh-cut trees from the same nearby source goes a long way toward guaranteeing their quality.
Most of the country's Christmas trees are harvested in the Pacific Northwest, but farms also have a strong presence in Michigan, North Carolina and New England, according to Rick Dungey, executive director of the Missouri-based National Christmas Tree Association.
Thanks to mild weather and consistent farming practices, Dungey said, tree prices have held steady for the past few years and show no signs of increasing this winter.
Six-foot trees, City Delivery's most popular size, cost around $120 each, with an extra $20 for the full delivery experience. Available trees range up to 10 feet, which cost around $230.
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