Buying your Christmas tree on the street? Prices may vary

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Sandra Bookman reports on Christmas tree shopping along New York City streets.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Maybe because there's a Christmas tree vendor on just about every other street corner in Manhattan.

So what about those trees? Are prices the same on every corner?

Even though Christmas is still nearly four weeks away, many New Yorkers are out shopping for their trees.

Buyers like Angela Horton were already in the festive spirit.

"I don't worry about (buying too early), no," she said. "Never too early to have a tree."

And there are plenty of choices, from Fraser, balsam, concolor and Douglas firs to Scotch pine and blue or white spruce, a lot depends on what you're looking for.

"A lot of people are asking for the smell of the tree because I guess you don't get that," tree vendor Jazz Bousquet said. "Because here, it's a concrete jungle."

Of course, the price is also important. In a random survey of tree vendors across Manhattan, we found some significant differences.

Comparing the cost of a six-foot premium Fraser Fir at several sellers, in Greenwich Village and Kips Bay, $120 was the going rate.

We came across the highest price for that top-of-the-line tree in Hell's Kitchen, where the price tag was a whopping $180. It was $140 on the Upper West Side, while the lowest price we found was in Harlem, at $85.

So neighborhood may or may not influence the price.

"They will be willing to pay a good amount of money for a tree that looks really good and is gonna last past Christmas," Bousquet said.

One tip from the National Christmas Tree Association: To get the best deal on a tree, buy the week before Christmas.

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shoppingchristmas treechristmasholidayNew York City
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