Chicago Christmas tree salesmen
Three tree vendors from Wisconsin discuss their seasonal gigs.
Paul Eick, 52 (1550 W North Ave)
How long have you been working the tree lots?
About eight years now. The rest of the year I work at a pallet company in Appleton, Wisconsin. This is just a seasonal job. It can be solitary work sometimes, but it’s usually pretty fun and always busy.
How do you fill the downtime in your trailer between sales?
I stay out here and create! Trim trees, sweep, clean up. I sleep in the trailer at night.
Best tree variety?
Balsam! They last long and smell real nice. Once they’re in the house and it’s nice and warm, the tree heats up and the fringe comes out.
Is the Christmas season truly the most wonderful time of year?
It sure is! People are happy to come here, buy trees, set ’em up and decorate them—and I like making people happy.