The fir is flying in federal court!
Evergreen East, a Wisconsin-based Christmas tree cooperative that bills itself as “New York’s finest Christmas tree sellers,” alleges Home Depot, Whole Foods and their supplier conspired last year to scam Big Apple tree buyers by labeling cheaper Canadian Balsam firs as pricey Fraser firs — the Cadillac of conifers, according to court papers.
Frasers are famous for the two-tone color of their needles, dark green on top with a silver underside.
The Manhattan federal court complaint alleges that during the 2019 Christmas season, the retailers “sold potentially hundreds of thousands of Balsam Fir trees which they intentionally mislabeled and falsely advertised as Fraser Fir trees.”
The Frasers are sold on Manhattan sidewalks by Evergreen’s mom-and-pop shop clients for upwards of $179 for a 6-footer and $699 for a 12-footer.
The fugazi firs being sold by the big retailers — which came from North Carolina-based supplier Bottomley Evergreen — start at just $80 for a 6-footer, said Evergreen East president Kevin Hammer, 64.