More and more U.S. homes are celebrating Christmas with artificial trees. While it would make Charlie Brown say "Good Grief!" the trend has been on the rise for several years now.
In Cranford, one of the companies taking advantage of this trend is tree-supplier National Tree Company, located on Commerce Drive. A study by the American Christmas Tree Association says that 83 percent of U.S. households have chose to go synthetic this holiday, a bump up from 79 percent last year.
"In a nutshell, NTC is a wholesaler of artificial Christmas tree, wreath, garlands and similar holiday greenery," the Cranford company's Creative Director Jeff Bischoff told Patch. The company sells trees through Target stores and other retailers including Ace Hardware and Home Depot. A 2010 New York Times article said the eastern U.S. is one of the biggest markets for artificial trees.
According to Bischoff the company, which also sells artificial trees in Canada and Europe, had its beginnings in Union County, as an Elizabeth flower shop. Salvatore Puleo started the business and now his three sons Joseph, Richard, and Salvatore Jr. head up the current operation, which manufactures its trees in China.
"Business has increased over the last couple of years, as we continue to add to, and innovate, our products line," said Bischoff. The company offers trees and shrubs that glow using fiber optics as well as portable storage for trees, among many other offerings.
The company holds an annual warehouse sale every Black Friday. "We maintain a showroom in our Cranford facility, as well as Hong Kong," said Bischoff. "Many of our customers visit our Hong Kong showroom so that they may also tour the manufacturing facilities."