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Holiday tradition — Union County Christmas tree auction

If you're buying a Christmas tree this year, it may come from an auction that happened today in Union County.

MIFFLINBURG, Pa. — More than 65,000 Christmas trees went to the highest bidder this week at the Buffalo Valley Produce Auction near Mifflinburg.

"I bought 200 trees so far," Richard Buontempo of Pittston said.

The sale started with a wreath auction, but the main attraction was the Christmas trees. People came from all over the east coast to buy trees. The prices are on the tip of everyone's tongue.

"This year, they're about the same as last year, maybe slightly less. Still a premium market for Christmas trees," Dan Virts of Virginia said.

"You got to weed through the higher prices to get to the lower prices," Buontempo said.

There were quite a few first-timers at this year's auction, like Bill West of central New Jersey.

"We typically buy direct, and they didn't have any trees this year to sell to us. We saw the advertisement and decided to come and give it a try," West said.

West has been selling trees to support a nonprofit for about 20 years. He found this auction frustrating.

"It's a little bit more than we had expected to pay for trees. We pay probably 20 percent less direct to the growers," West said.

"A lot of trees. There's a lot more trees than what I was expecting," Chance Cook of West Virginia said.

This was also Chance Cook's first time at the auction. He enjoyed it and said the prices were what he expected.

"Anywhere from $25 to $300 plus. It basically depends on the tree," Cook said.

Despite the higher tree prices, buyers believe their customers will still pay.

"Yes, if they want a quality tree, they're going to pay to celebrate the holidays," Virts said.

Most of these trees will soon be decorating homes all over the east coast.

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