Side Hustle #68: Make Money Selling Christmas Trees!

Welcome to a new Hustle in our Series! Where my man Andrew from shares his step-by-step instructions on how selling Christmas trees can make you some good money in your spare time. Along with how much he’s made so far doing it himself! If you pair this with Holiday Hustle #55 – playing Santa Clause – you’ll really be the hit of the town ;) Enjoy!

Have you ever seen those independent Christmas tree salesman on the side of the road and wondered how much they make?

Well, it’s your lucky day my friend, because I am one of those tree salesman! So high-5 your grandma, hug a baby, or fist bump your dog – I’m going to show you how to sell trees as a side ho-ho-hustle (sorry, that was bad).

It all started one day when my wife and I were discussing extra ways to make money. I mentioned selling Christmas trees as something I think about every December and wondered how much those roadside stands make. Well, light up my nose and call me Rudolph – my wife told me that she had a distant relative who sold trees as her main source of income!

Boo Ya!

We had someone who was in the business to help show us their Christmas tree ways. We headed right over to talk to her. After our little chat, she told us that she made $100,000 a year between two stands. I was sold. She agreed to connect us with her tree farm and we were in business!

Now, let me start by saying that I did not expect to make 50 G’s our first year. She had been in business for years and built a clientele that knew and trusted her. That being said, our conversation did make me realize the potential, and it was time to hustle!

Here are the main steps to get started with a Christmas tree business:

Step #1: Find a Good Location!

The first step is to find a location. This is the the most important step. Just like in real estate, the tree business is about location, location, location.

December is a great time to search for plots of land to set up shop for next year. You want to look for high traffic lots that do not have any competition nearby. Preferably a place that can provide electricity for your lights (otherwise you will have to get a generator) and running water.

A great place to start would be your local flea market. See if they have a tree guy. If not, try to get some space! Trees sell like crazy at the flea market! Our local flea market tree stand sells over 400 trees in a 10 days! The guy could sell more, but he prefers to go home and drink eggnog once he sells out.  This translates to about $20,000 net profit in 10 days!

Not only do flea markets generate foot traffic but they are usually already covered and somewhat secure, which can reduce your overhead tremendously (we will get into this a little later).

The second place to look would be local schools and churches. We set up at a local church in town. This is a fantastic arrangement for the beginner. Instead of making a rental payment on a plot of land, you give a percentage of sales to the church. Local public schools will take the same arrangement (That’s where our tree mentor set up). It becomes a win-win situation. They make money on their land without having to organize volunteers, and you have a high traffic spot to set up shop.

Another benefit to this strategy, is the church members (or students parents) will be more inclined to buy their tree at your stand since they know part of the proceeds go to their school/church. You can even ask them to put a little ad in their newsletter or bulletin to let members know there’s a tree stand on their campus.

We arranged to give 10% of the tree sales to the church. This in turn hedges your risk, if you don’t sell, you aren’t obligated to the overhead on your rented space.

Once you have your location, it’s time to order your trees. Most tree farms will set you up on credit and you pay for the trees after the season. This is nice benefit when you’re starting out because you can allocate startup cash to other areas of your stand.

We ordered 200 trees worth $7,000 our first year. I will break down each size and how much you can make a little later. You want to order your trees a few months in advance to ensure they have enough to fulfill your order.

Step #2: Find a Tent

You definitely want to have a cover over your trees. Sunlight can seriously damage and dry out a Christmas tree. This will be your biggest out of pocket cost up front. We rented a 100 foot tent for $1,200 for the month. The company came and set it up with their crew. They also took it down when we were done.

This may be something you want to invest in if you decide to go all in on selling trees, but it will run you $10,000-$15,000. You could create a 2nd side hustle by renting out your tent for the other 10 months!

Step #3: Get The Supplies You’ll Need

There are a few supplies you will want to pick up before you get your trees delivered.

This would include:


  • Vinyl Sign From VistaPrint — $100
  • Tags for trees — $20
  • Wreath Rings (more on this later) — $50
  • 50 Christmas Tree Stands (additional revenue) — $500

From Big Box Stores:

  • 4 ft Chicken wire to surround the stand — $350
  • Poles — $200
  • Pole Driver — $15
  • Extension Cords — $50
  • 2x6x10s to Hold up inventory — $50
  • Weed Cloth: this will shade your trees — $50
  • Chain Saw — $100

From (a much cheaper version of the big box stores):

  • Bungee Cords — $50
  • Lighting — $200
  • Zip Ties — $5
  • Gloves — $5

Right Before You Open:

  • Large Poinsettias (additional revenue) –$250

Total: $3,195

Got it? Good!

Step #4: Get Your Stand Set Up Properly!

Here’s the trick to a Christmas Tree stand that will set you apart from the rest: You want people to step inside freakin’ Narnia when they enter! A forest of upright trees. At any given time you want to have about 40-50 trees on display so that your customer can see all angles of the tree.

This is a game changer for your stand. People love it! Most places just lay their trees in bundled piles and the customer has no clue what the tree looks like until they get home. Don’t be this type of stand!

narnia christmas tree stand

[Here is what ours looked like at night]

We set up our trees on poles and strap bungee cords to keep them upright. You want to stake your poles before the trees arrive. That way when they come in, you can display your first 50!

You’ll also want to set up your fencing, shade cloth, and lighting. For the fencing we just wrap it around the perimeter and secure it with zip ties. This makes for an easy set-up and tear down. The shade cloth goes around the side and rear of the stand to help protect the trees from drying out. In Florida, where we live, this is a must because it’s still warm in December. We still can go to the beach on Christmas! #Blessed

Lighting is a must as most of your customers will be coming after work when it’s dark. The brighter the better! We get workshop lights from Harbor Freight and hang them from every corner. They don’t need to be able to see it from the international space station, but a well light stand will result in people feeling safe and secure stopping by your stand.

If your location doesn’t have an electrical outlet, you will need to rent a generator. This can increase your cost ($300-$1,000) so keep this in mind when you are looking for locations.

When To Open Up Your Christmas Stand

christmas tree stand

[Here is a picture of our stand. See the difference when the trees stand up?]

The best time to open your stand is the weekend before Thanksgiving. We all have an Aunt Phyllis who wears a Christmas sweater that lights up before Halloween. Well, those people want their trees as soon as possible, so be the first in the business!

Schedule your trees to arrive a week before Thanksgiving. They will come in a huge semi-truck. If you have a good tree farm, they will have just cut the trees a few days ago which makes them really ‘fresh’ (this is a huge selling point that we will talk about later). Ours are so fresh they still had snow on them! You’ll need a few helpers to unload the trees. We hire a few high schoolers to help out for $10 an hour.

Our stand is open from 3pm – 9pm weekdays and 11am – 9pm weekends. This makes it perfect for the side hustle ninja inside of you. If you work 9-5’s like we do, have someone run the stand until you can get there. (Full disclosure, my dad helps us out so this is free for us.)

The most important thing you need to nail down is your sales pitch.

You’re not giving your customer a wrapped up tree and throwing it in the back of their mini van. You are giving them a fresh tree that was just cut a week ago.

A little known fact, the big box stores cut their trees in early October, sometimes September, which is why their trees dry out and lose their fragrance. Make sure the customer knows this as they look through your trees. As you talk to them, you need to develop a relationship. This is where you get repeat customers and referrals year after year. We have a very large percentage of people who come to our stand just via word of mouth.

So How Much Can You Make Selling Christmas Trees?

I am glad you asked. Most trees are a 50% markup or more. Some of the big trees can be a 200% markup (I love when we sell one of those).  When you set up your trees on display, you will be able to tell which ones look ‘perfect’ and others that are ‘not so perfect’. The trees without ‘holes’ or blemish will fall under the higher price range. The trees with ‘holes’ will be on the lower price range. Let me break it down for you:


Size Cost Sale Price Profit
6′-7′ Cost $20 Sell For $40-$50 $20-$30
7′-8′ Cost $30 Sell For $60-$95 $30-$65
8′-9′ Cost $35 Sell For $80-$120 $45-$85
9′-10′ Cost $40 Sell For $90-$150 $50-$110
10′-11′ Cost $50 Sell For $100 – $200 $50-$150
11′-12′ Cost $75 Sell For $150 – $400 $75-$250


Those prices for big trees may seem outrageous at first glance, but people will pay for them. We sell a handful of monsters every year. I cannot tell you how many times people will come in and say “I want your biggest tree”. Boy, oh boy, do I love selling it to them.

The sweet spot is the 6′-9′ trees. The majority of our sales come from those trees. They have great margins, and can fit in the majority of your customers homes.

Additional Revenue on Top of The Trees

When someone purchases a tree, you are going to cut off some of the lagging branches at the bottom. Those branches can turn into additional revenue sources by making live wreaths (who says money doesn’t grow on trees)! We sell small wreaths for $20 and large for $35.

There are plenty of youtube videos on how to do this, so I won’t bore you with the details. This brings in an additional $1,000 for us. They look amazing too!

We also sell tree stands. I make sure to ask every person if they need a stand (we always sell out!). We order 3 sizes that will fit all tree types. Depending on the size, we buy them for $5 – $20 and sell them for $20 – $40! This is a great seller because if someone does not have a stand, you can put it on their tree before they go. All they have to do is stand it up when they get home!

The last of additional revenue is poinsettias. We found a guy who sells GIANT poinsettias for $5 a piece. We sell them to our customers for $25 each. Not only do they make the stand look nice, they sell like crazy! We sell out and re-order many times throughout the month. It’s the WOW factor. It also makes the stand look very festive. Customers (the ladies especially) love this and almost always add them to their tree purchase.

How Much Have I Made Selling Trees So Far?

In our first year we spent $3,195 on startup equipment I listed above (including tent rental), and after selling our trees, paying our tree farm, and giving 10% to the church, we had a net profit of $7,555 in 5 weeks. Here is a visual breakdown:


  • Trees: $7,000
  • Supplies + Tent + Poinsettias: $3,195
  • Total: $10,195


  • Tree Sales: $14,500 (after paying church)
  • Stands: $1,000
  • Poinsettias $1,250
  • Wreaths $1,000
  • Total: 17,750

Net Profit: $7,555!

(Next year, we will eliminate an additional $2,000 in cost since we already have the supplies, poles, shade cloth, etc.)

This profit was after having about 20 trees leftover. The city did not like that our tent was under power lines on the main road so we had to move our stand behind the church which killed our visibility. With a better location, I truly believe we can sell well over 200 trees! The stand down the street (on the main highway), sold 400 and finished a week before us. We gave away the excess trees to the church who gave them to people in need.

Downsides to The Tree Business

carrying christmas trees

One downside for some to having a tree stand is that it’s labor intensive. If you don’t like lifting heavy things and putting them back down, this may not be the side hustle for you (bro, do you even lift trees?). You can hire a few employees to help you with the labor, but it can cut into your profit (especially when you are just starting out).

A tree stand is also not a passive side hustle. You have to plan, organize, and put in the work to make it successful.

That being said, this would be a great side hustle for early retirees. You work for one month a year on a business that can generate a nice chunk of cash to fit your lifestyle!

Wrap It All Up a Christmas Bow…

To sum it up, a Christmas tree stand can be a great side hustle. You get to meet all kinds of people in the community, provide a product that brings cheer, and make money in the process.

You can grow your stand with a great customer base that will return year after year. Maybe you can open a second stand and sell trees full time and work one month per year! How much better can it get?

P.S. I know sometimes J. Money likes to exit in style with a musical bang, so I thought I would leave you with the Christmas classic ‘Christmas in Hollis’ by RUN DMC.


Andrew is a financial analyst by day and a money blogging vigilante by night. He is the creator of the blog Dollar After Dollar where it’s all about the benjamins baby! He writes about personal finance, real estate, and keeping it 100.

****Update October 2020!: Adding some good Q&A from the comments. Read these before holding your own Christmas tree sale this holiday season!****

Frequently Asked Questions About Selling Christmas Trees:

Here are the top questions we get about selling Christmas Trees. Some of these are from the comments section below!

Can you use your front yard to sell Christmas trees?

Usually not… Check your street’s zoning codes first. Most residential areas do not permit businesses, even temporary ones, to be set up. The zone codes protect home values. Either way, you’ll need a permit from your local government to set up a stand. In my city, stores, churches, etc. cannot give you permission to set up a business on their property without the appropriate business permit. Doesn’t cost much, but you need one. Just do your due diligence so all your work isn’t for nothing.

Is there much competition for tree stands?

Yep, there’s competition with every business! But, don’t let this scare you off trying. Big box stores sell both live trees and fake trees, but they lack the charm and character of a small local tree sale. One way to come up to speed quickly on your competition is to ask someone who has run a stand in the past. Find yourself a “tree mentor” who can give you the local knowledge and save you from making rookie mistakes.

Any tricks to make Christmas trees last longer?

I’ve got a little trick for you next year when you buy your tree. Water with 1 part Coca-Cola, one part water, when you first bring home your tree. The sugars in the coke will cause the trunk to seal in the water. This in turn will make your tree last much longer! Kiss dry branches goodbye (I sound like an informercial). I had one customer tell me their tree lasted until March with this method (although I don’t recommend keeping your tree that long from an interior design standpoint)!   (The big box stores always cut trees too early. I would ask the folks at the stand down the street when theirs were cut. It should be less than a month.)

Should I offer delivery when selling Christmas trees?

(And pick-up once the holiday season is over!)

Some folks don’t buy Christmas trees because they have no way to pick up or take the tree home to their house. For additional revenue, you could consider adding delivery as part of your business. The customer could call the stand, order based on size/height etc, and you could have delivery arranged. Also, Once Christmas is over, you could have a collection day where you hire a big truck and drive around collecting people’s trees. People will pay for the convenience!

What’s the profit per hour selling Christmas Trees?

“It’s about 50 hours work per week. Most side-hustles are a marathon, usually working 12 months of the year. This is an all out sprint, averaging about 200 hours in a month. Our first year it ended up being about $37.50 an hour (200 hours). Next year we plan on making a minimum of $2,000 more since we already have all the equipment. So we will in turn make about $47 an hour. Another option to reduce your hours is hire a college student (usually home for the holidays) or high school student for $10/hour. You make less hourly, but can sit back, relax, and enjoy the holiday cheer.

Do you have to grow the trees yourself?

Nope! Find a grower or a Christmas tree farm to partner with. You’d be surprised how many wholesale businesses pop up in your area right before the holidays. Again, having a mentor who has done it all before can help you, or, you can always ask other local stand owners where they source their trees from in bulk.

Can you sell artificial Christmas trees, too?

Yes! The more variety your stand has, the more you can offer customers. But, they will not be as popular as *real* Christmas trees selling at your stand.

h/t to FinancialPanther for this idea (he’s a side hustle legend!)… Turns out many people throw away their artificial Christmas tree at the end of the season (silly, because they are re-usable!!!). So, when Christmas is over, you could go around and collect all the artificial trees thrown out or being given away for free. This can be done by placing an ad on Craigslist requesting for artificial trees. You could even purchase cheap ones online. If you have property with a lot of space, store the trees, clean them up, and sell them for a fee the following Christmas. Not a huge money maker, but, there’s definitely a huge profit margin!

Can you make money selling Christmas wreaths?

Loose limbs make great a wreath. Competitors might give you them for FREE –>  Many stands throw away their loose limbs or small branches that fall off the trees. They see them as a headache to dispose of. Picking these up and crafting wreaths gives you more inventory for your stand! The competitors think you’re doing a favor for them by taking their branch trash away… but they are actually funding an additional revenue source for you! A wreath is perfect for people that don’t have the space for a tree at home.


[Like this Hustle? Check out #55 on making money as Santa Claus, or all 60+ others here!]

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  1. Kate @ Cashville Skyline December 15, 2016 at 6:10 AM

    Killer side hustle idea! I live on a busy street, so maybe I could try selling them right from my front yard. Haha. Not sure my neighbors would go for it, though!

    1. GameTime October 22, 2018 at 1:51 PM

      If your street is zoned residential, you may run into issues. There’s reasons why businesses, even temporary ones, cannot be set up in residential streets. That’s to protect the home values. You’ll need a permit from your local government, too.

    2. Gametime68 October 22, 2018 at 1:56 PM

      You’ll need to check your street’s zoning codes. Most residential areas do not permit businesses, even temporary ones, to be set up. The zone codes protect home values. Either way, you’ll need a permit from your local government to set up a stand. In my city, stores, churches, etc. cannot give you permission to set up a business on their property without the appropriate business permit. Doesn’t cost much, but you need one. Just do your due diligence so all your work isn’t for nothing.

  2. The Green Swan December 15, 2016 at 6:45 AM

    What a side hustle! Never thought tree stands were so profitable but that’s a nice deal! I only recall one stand around us so the market may be for the taking. Plus I live in NC which has a ton of Xmas tree farms! Thanks for the break down.

    1. Andrew @ Dollar After Dollar December 15, 2016 at 8:39 AM

      That sounds like an opportunity to me Green Swan! Our ‘tree mentor’ was the first in her area. She developed a strong relationship and now has the majority of the business in that area. She only competes with the box stores.

      Our tree farm is from North Carolina and they have been awesome!

  3. Tara December 15, 2016 at 7:09 AM

    I think this depends on where you live. Here in PA, the home of many Christmas tree farms (T Swift’s parents had one in PA before she moved to Nashville), there are too many Christmas tree stands to count, so the competition is fierce. Around the corner from our house (in Philly burbs) a stand sells all trees for $29.99 to support the local elementary school. But I don’t think that’s the norm outside our area. :)

    1. Andrew @ Dollar After Dollar December 15, 2016 at 8:44 AM

      I would 100% agree that it is location specific Tara. I think 2 or 3 stands in a town is where it maxes out. If there’s one on every corner the pricing becomes a race to the bottom by the end of the season.

      That’s a fun fact about T-Swifts parents, I didn’t know that!

      $29.99 is a bargain! They must sell a boatload of trees!

      1. Libby December 16, 2016 at 7:48 PM

        ….and in Connecticut we paid $5.00 for our tree at a cut-your-own farm.

  4. Apathy Ends December 15, 2016 at 7:44 AM

    Thanks for the in-depth breakdown, I was curious how much they went for wholesale.

    We bought our tree from a big box store a few years ago, half the needles ended up on my floor.

    There is a huge church about 4 blocks from our house…. now you have me thinking

    1. Andrew @ Dollar After Dollar December 15, 2016 at 8:55 AM

      Thanks for reading AE!

      I’ve got a little trick for you next year when you buy your tree. Water with 1 part Coca-Cola, one part water, when you first bring home your tree. The sugars in the coke will cause the trunk to seal in the water. This in turn will make your tree last much longer! Kiss dry branches goodbye (I sound like an informercial). I had one customer tell me their tree lasted until March with this method (although I don’t recommend keeping your tree that long from an interior design standpoint)!

      The big box stores always cut their trees too early. I would ask the folks at the stand down the street when theirs were cut. It should be less than a month.


      1. Cassy November 4, 2018 at 8:17 PM

        Good article I think I may use some of the info in my venture. In my case I will have about 3 acres to put christmas tress in and about 1/2 to 3/4 we’ll use for a pumpkin patch during halloween amd thanksgiving. Cut your own.

        Do not mix anything in your water for your Christmas tree, Cut Christmas trees will use a gallon of water per day. the best thing to do is to have a towel and wrap it soaked in water around the trunk of your tree and immediately cut about an inch off of the truck (no angles) and put it in its stand and fill the stand with water as soon as you get home. A good fresh cut tree will last for about 8 weeks (depending on type.) When I was a kid and still today we had a tradition, We bought the tree thanksgiving day and took it down the first weekend after the new year!

        Cutting the tree again after you get home will remove the sap the tree used to seal its self. You need to try to keep it unsealed so it can drink all the water it can.

  5. Physician On FIRE December 15, 2016 at 7:57 AM

    I always knew there was money in the banana stand, but who knew the Christmas tree stand could be so lucrative? Nice hustling.

    A parallel business that seems quite interesting is the Christmas tree rental concept – saw it on Shark Tank. Could also be a good money maker, and is Lorax approved.


    1. Andrew @ Dollar After Dollar December 15, 2016 at 9:01 AM

      Thanks for reading POF!

      That Shark Tank article is really interesting. We are considering delivering trees next year. People call in with their size, we deliver, and set up their tree (stand and all)! You’d be surprised how many customers ask for this! It might be a great 4th revenue stream for the stand.

      1. Ted bussie December 13, 2017 at 7:48 PM

        Where do find the netting that you put around the tree when you pass the tree through the barrel before customer takes tree home

    2. J. Money December 15, 2016 at 11:27 AM

      Yeah!!! I saw that on Shark Tank too. So clever!! (And then they don’t die too right, if i recall? They replant them? or am i making that up?)

  6. Paul @ ABL December 15, 2016 at 9:42 AM

    Interesting idea – esp. the long term potential for growing and expanding. Is a good rule of thumb (based on your open hours above) ~50 hours per week? Just trying to calculate a profit / hour for comparison.

    1. Andrew @ Dollar After Dollar December 15, 2016 at 10:27 AM

      You are right on, Paul. It’s about 50 hours per week.

      Most side-hustles are a marathon, usually working 12 months of the year. This is an all out sprint, averaging about 200 hours in a month.

      Our first year it ended up being about $37.50 an hour (200 hours). Next year we plan on making a minimum of $2,000 more since we already have all the equipment. So we will in turn make about $47 an hour.

      Another option to reduce your hours is hire a college student (usually home for the holidays) or high school student for $10/hour. You make less hourly, but can sit back, relax, and enjoy the holiday cheer.

      The best part is, the potential growth long term is endless!

  7. Free to Pursue December 15, 2016 at 9:53 AM

    We always buy our trees from independent vendors. It just seems like the “feel good” thing to do around this time of year. And, when they support a not-for-profit in some way to boot? It gives us even better vibes. Thanks for the breakdown and for bringing other people joy at the same time. It’s the ultimate win-win-win to go with the Ho-Ho-Ho. *

    1. Andrew @ Dollar After Dollar December 15, 2016 at 10:51 AM

      Thanks for reading Free To Pursue!

      I’m glad to hear someone supports the little guys!

  8. Mrs. Picky Pincher December 15, 2016 at 10:27 AM

    This is nuts! I can’t believe how profitable selling Christmas trees on the side can be. I never thought about it lol. I’ve always been an artificial tree person.

    But this is really neat. :) I always thought you had to grow the trees yourself, but I didn’t consider you can just buy them from a wholeseller. If you’re into labor, it sounds like you can make a sweet little paycheck at the end of it all. :) I don’t think it’s something I would personally try out, but it’s neat!

    1. Andrew @ Dollar After Dollar December 15, 2016 at 10:58 AM

      It definitely take some hustle muscle! I like to look the part. I wear the red flannel shirt, jeans, and boots.

      My “tree mentor” doesn’t do any of the heavy lifting. She has grown to the point where she can hire a crew of helpers to run her stands. She just organizes and collects the checks!

      Thanks for reading! Cheers!

  9. Ken December 15, 2016 at 10:53 AM

    Oh man, I had the perfect spot for this by me. A church bought a big plot of land in front of a ton of upscale homes and they haven’t started building on the land yet. It would’ve been perfect!

    No way to subscribe to comments?

    1. Andrew @ Dollar After Dollar December 15, 2016 at 11:16 AM

      Sounds like an opportunity for next year Ken! Stands near upscale neighborhoods traditionally do extremely well.

    2. J. Money December 15, 2016 at 11:28 AM

      Adding to our list of upgrades for the future!

      We used to have comment subscription but killed it cuz it kept messing up stuff :( Now that I have a team here though it’s going right back on the list, thx for the reminder!

  10. Financial Panther December 15, 2016 at 11:30 AM

    This is a really interesting business that I didn’t know anything about, so thanks so much for sharing these numbers. I set up my own impromptu Christmas tree selling business this year, since I happened to find two artificial Christmas trees thrown out on the side of the road this past summer. I’ve been hanging onto them until now and just recently sold them both. Managed to bring in $70 for the two of them, and at a startup cost of $0, I was pretty happy with that profit.

    1. Andrew @ Dollar After Dollar December 15, 2016 at 7:15 PM

      Sounds like a great deal to me! It would be interesting to put up a craigslist add and pick up artificial trees people plan to throw out. Then, keep them in the attic and turn a profit next Christmas. Thanks for reading FP!

    2. J. Money December 19, 2016 at 6:16 AM

      Nice work, Financial Panther!

  11. Miss Mazuma December 15, 2016 at 12:19 PM

    Fascinating. I love seeing the numbers behind this business. It gives me answers to a question I have floated many times over the past 10 years… There is a small plot of land on a busy city street that sells Christmas trees every year and is vacant the rest of the year. I wondered how this piece of land hasn’t sold or why they would keep it so long. They must be making bank every Christmas! You have me wheels turning now… ;)

    1. Andrew @ Dollar After Dollar December 15, 2016 at 7:18 PM

      I bet you they are! I have heard of stands who have been in business for decades that make hundreds of thousands of dollars. Those stands will get tree shipments weekly. It is wild because you would never suspect it from looking at them! Sounds like they need a competitor! :)

  12. Joe December 15, 2016 at 2:46 PM

    That’s a great seasonal side hustle. It sounds like you made a bundle in just a few weeks. I’d have to hire some employees, though. I’d throw out my back on day 1.

    1. Andrew @ Dollar After Dollar December 15, 2016 at 7:21 PM

      It does start to wear on the body by the end of the month. Some of the monster 12′ trees can weigh a few hundred pounds! I am hoping to transition to employees once my volume increases.

  13. Go Finance Yourself! December 15, 2016 at 10:45 PM

    That’s one hell of a side hustle! Definitely not one I’ve heard anyone else talk about. Sounds like a lot of fun too. Nice work!

  14. ZJ Thorne December 16, 2016 at 12:12 AM

    I did not realize precisely how lucrative the business was. One year, I did not have the space for a tree, but wanted a wreath. The local stand did not have wreaths, but gave me some of the loose limbs on the ground. My very talented girlfriend turned it into a really festive decoration that fit my apartment. It smelled wonderful.

    Once I have a place that can accommodate a tree, I will be sure to go back to that same stand that treated me so well before.

    1. J. Money December 16, 2016 at 10:56 AM

      Yeah girlfriend!! Hot quality right there :)

    2. Andrew @ Dollar After Dollar December 16, 2016 at 5:27 PM

      That is a great way to do it. We had loads of branches left over and we gladly would give them away to folks who asked for them. Most tree stands don’t want the headache of having to dispose of branches. You can make some really cool wreaths for free by doing that!

  15. Latoya | Femme Frugality December 16, 2016 at 10:10 AM

    Goodness gracious! I didn’t know tree stands were so profitable! This is an awesome side hustle considering you only have to do it during one time of the year.

  16. Mr. Tako @ Mr. Tako Escapes December 17, 2016 at 3:44 PM

    Interesting read J$ Money! I never thought about those Christmas tree stands as someone’s side business before!


    1. J. Money December 19, 2016 at 6:01 AM

      I now see them everywhere I drive since posting this up, haha… Two at churches too, so apparently that IS a good tip! :)

  17. Kelly December 17, 2016 at 11:12 PM

    Yay! That is a good source of income from selling Christmas trees. I never thought that it would be that big and a good side hustle. Thanks!

  18. Avery Breyer December 19, 2016 at 8:00 PM

    I like the hustle behind this! And your tree stand looks gorgeous by the way – it’s so cute with the twinkling lights, and as you say, having the trees actually stand up looks so much better!

    1. Andrew @ Dollar After Dollar December 21, 2016 at 8:48 AM

      Thanks Avery! We love the forest effect. It’s a much better experience for the customer!

  19. Ruth Berman December 19, 2016 at 8:52 PM

    My family sells “cut your own” Christmas trees and we have for over 50 years! People come from other states to buy them. 80 acres of trees. ZERO advertising. My brother (owner) sells about 1000 trees per year. All trees $60.

    Downsides: *mowing between trees and trimming vines all summer
    * trimming trees and getting stung by bees!!!
    * ALL income in one month! Can you say BUDGET? :O
    * Standing out in freezing cold to sell trees
    * Must hire parking attendant , tree bailers, & cashier
    * plowing lot if snowstorm

    1. J. Money December 20, 2016 at 6:07 AM

      So cool!!!! What a neat family biz!

  20. Fiscally Free December 20, 2016 at 2:21 PM

    This seems like a little too much work for me, but the profits are pretty attractive.

  21. Vicki December 20, 2016 at 6:14 PM

    We made trees out of pallets which are free from warehouses. Painted them green, about 30 minutes work. Sold them at the local market this past weekend. Plan to do it on a grand scale next year, they were very popular!

    1. J. Money December 21, 2016 at 6:16 AM

      Nice!! How much do you sell them for? Any pics we can see? :)

  22. superbien December 29, 2016 at 8:11 AM

    I gotta argue with the sponsored Lyft ad, as my friend is struggling to make ends meet driving for them. Drivers don’t make $20-40 per hour like they claim, not even before taking out expenses (the company’s cut, gas, wear and tear, extra cleaning, taxes). Other than NYC, drivers make $9 – $11 an hour, pre-expenses. After expenses, you’re looking at right around minimum wage.

    1. J. Money December 30, 2016 at 6:47 AM

      Are you talking about an actual ad, or our Side Hustle article we did on Uber/Lyft? Our ads currently are randomized through ad networks so I don’t pick and chose them (not that I have a problem with Lyft – they’re fine to me!) but the side hustle article is even better ;)

      Mainly because we published it at the height of all the ride sharing goodness which seemed to help a lot of people – and still does from the look of traffic we get. I still think it’s a valid side hustle though just like any others out there – some will work for you and others won’t depending on what you’re looking for and enjoy/etc.

  23. superbien December 29, 2016 at 8:41 AM

    Great article! I had no idea there was that kind of profit there. You’re working for your money though, hoo! All the lifting, organizing, selling, and coordination. Nice side hustle!

  24. Donna Freedman December 30, 2016 at 2:34 PM

    My dad used to grow Christmas trees. He’d buy seedlings for six cents apiece (yes, six cents) from the state division of agriculture and plant 1,000 at a time. This is a lot easier than it sounds when you have kids (and later grandkids) who will do the work with you.

    He’d mow between the rows during the summer and throw down some weedkiller. Once a year or so he’d trim them to shape if needed. And yeah, the money was really good.

    Then he found a better way to do it: Sell entire fields of trees to a landscaper. The guy gave him sums of money and required NOTHING ELSE. His own guys would come down to trim, and would dig them up as needed.

    1. J. Money January 1, 2017 at 3:55 PM

      Oh wowwwwww – smart man! And even more so to nab all that land in the beginning :)

  25. Multitalented August 6, 2017 at 8:07 AM

    Approaching schools and churches also made me think it would be good to print up some early order forms and offer it as a fundraiser for local PTA, churches, and libraries, etc. Once your location is set, the order can be to pick up trees the weekend before Thanksgiving, or delivered the week after fir an extra fee. You’ll start off with a bang, and maybe even sell a large $400 tree to the organizations themselves for display in their building.

    1. J. Money August 7, 2017 at 6:49 AM

      Yeah! That does sound like a good idea!

  26. Perley E Underwood Jr November 17, 2017 at 6:33 PM

    I wont to sell a large 40 ft or so dont now forsure how tall live or cut

  27. robert bogacz April 27, 2018 at 11:09 AM

    I’m in Ft Pierce, Florida and want to get in on this hustle. I’m always into something to make money. Looked up tree wholesalers, but there’s a ton. Will you give your source and how do they usually charge to deliver? Thanks my hustle brother from another mother.

    1. J. Money November 5, 2018 at 6:14 AM

      Love that area! Used to go down all the time when my grandparents were living there…

  28. Lisa July 26, 2018 at 12:03 AM

    Any tips On how to find a supplier that will issue a line of credit? We live in Alaska and my boss owns a castle he has agreed to let me sell Christmas trees there.

  29. Nicholas September 3, 2018 at 11:49 AM

    Great article! I know this will vary state by state but I’m curious about which local business licenses and permits you needed to acquire before opening. Also, what was the rough breakdown of your 200 trees by species and size? We’ve got a vision for a stand this winter and came across your article. Your thoroughness was exactly what we were looking for.

  30. Larry January 31, 2019 at 6:56 AM

    Years ago, as an early retiree, my wife and I set up a Christmas Tree lot in a great location in Stockton, Ca. We did it professionally, chain link fence, extensive overhead lighting which we set up ourselves. We had banners. We made our own stands and hired locals to help us unload the trees. We had a 36′ class A motor home that we lived in for the month, on site. We bought 1,000 trees that came in two shipments out of Oregon. We opened the day after Thanksgiving and closed on Dec. 22. We sold all but twenty trees that had dried out, and we set them on the sidewalk outside of the lot and they were all gone by the next morning. It was an incredible amount of work, but profitable. No free lunch, and we only did it once.

    1. J. Money February 1, 2019 at 6:36 PM

      Love it that y’all went for it though! Much better to try it out and learn than always wonder… And especially when you’re left with profits in the end ;)

  31. Tim September 27, 2019 at 12:35 PM

    What about theft? Just wondering how much loss to figure in with stolen trees.

    1. J. Money September 27, 2019 at 2:52 PM


      I feel like it would be pretty hard to nab trees on the sly? Haha…

      But I don’t put it past people! So I’d be curious too actually :)

  32. Tom October 6, 2019 at 12:19 AM

    Could you send me a list of wholesalers selling trees or a tree guy contact?

  33. Robyn Lusto December 8, 2019 at 2:23 PM

    Hi, Are there insurance and or permit costs involved?

    Thanks in advance :)

  34. Wesley July 15, 2020 at 11:27 AM

    Would you mind further elaborating on the setup of the trees themselves? I was planning on setting up trees in stands, but I see where that would be an issue, as you wouldn’t be able to sell the stand. Are you saying you bought individual poles for each tree and bungeed the trunk to the pole? If so, what kind of poles were they?

    This is a very intriguing setup, I’m hoping to make it work where I live.

  35. Zach LeBoeuf August 11, 2020 at 2:11 AM

    I am doing this this year. I’ve been looking around for tents and the best I can find is a 20’ x 40’ tent for $3800. What would you think about doing it in a smaller tent with some outside the tent – some inside? Can I speak with you personally? Thanks!

    1. Joel August 11, 2020 at 10:58 AM

      Hey Zach! I think you can reach out to Andrew on his website or social media to ask more questions directly…

  36. Joey Kirkland April 16, 2021 at 11:54 AM

    Fantastic article! Very informative and just what I was looking for. I agree 100% about setting your trees upright for display purposes but I have a question. When you mention staking poles in the ground and tying the trees off to them what sort of poles do you suggest and how far above the ground do they need to extend? Also, any ideas/experience with an asphalt or concrete lot? How would you suggest standing those trees up? Thanks!

  37. Hank Williford September 27, 2021 at 10:51 AM

    Would you mind sharing who you order your trees from?

    Thanks so much!

  38. Charles Pellegrin November 1, 2022 at 7:36 AM

    Thank, Have a Merry Christmas