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Buy a Christmas Tree and Help Area Youth: Austin Optimist Club Tree Lot Turns 60!

published on November 26, 2013

Austin Christmas trees When Austinites visit the Christmas tree lot at the corner of San Gabriel and North Lamar near the UT Campus, they invest in more than just a holiday tree. This tree lot is run by the Austin Optimist Club – a civic organization dedicated to serving the youth of the greater Austin area.

For almost 60 years, every nickel of the Optimist Club’s tree sales proceeds have gone to Austin-area youth charities. (Scroll down to see a list of the youth organizations supported by the Austin Optimist Club, from Dell Children’s Medical Center to Blue Santa.)

The lot sells several types of trees: Noble Firs, Fraser Firs, Grand Firs, Natural Douglas Firs, and Scotch Pines. They come as small as two feet and as tall as ten feet. This year, the lot also will be selling Natural Douglas Fir Garlands and Fraser Fir Wreaths. “When I started working there in the early ’80s, we only had Natural Douglas firs and Scotch pines,” said AOC board member Wendy Davis. “I remember the year we got the first Noble firs in, in the late ’80s. George Dacy, the Tree Lot Chair back then, said no one would pay $30 for a Christmas Tree. They were all gone in three days! Nowadays they are the bulk of our sales.”

Enjoy a few nuggets of Christmas tree caretaking wisdom, compliments of the Austin Optimist Club:

Austin Optimist ClubChristmas Tree Care

1. Fill the tree stand with plain water at one quart per inch of trunk diameter, and always keep it immersed.

2. Keep the tree as far as possible from heat sources (fireplaces, heater vents, sunlight, spotlights).

3. Lowering the room temperature and increasing its humidity will increase the tree’s lifespan.

4. Never cut or whittle a trunk to fit a tree stand. Bigger trees need bigger, broader-based stands. Also, the outer layers of wood are essential for sufficient water uptake.

5. Don’t forget to recycle! Leave your tree on the curb on trash day (trees over 6 feet should be cut in half), and it will be composted into Dillo Dirt. Or, take it down to Zilker Park. Austin residents can drop off their trees in the park for recycling (with decorations and stands removed) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the following dates:

  • Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014
  • Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014
  • Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014
  • Sunday, Jan.12, 2014

Start a new holiday tradition, and change the world this season! Head out to the Austin Optimist Club Christmas Tree Lot to bring a smile to your family’s faces while supporting Austin-area youth organizations. And, while you’re there, whether you live in Barton Creek West or the Village at Western Oaks, bring home the holiday spirit with a living garland for your mantle or a wreath for your front door.

The address is 2813 San Gabriel, and the phone number is (512) 499-0165. Spread the word!

** Oh, and bring a gently used children’s book with you to contribute to BookSpring: the Austin Optimist Club’s wonderful literacy project! **

Regent Property Group supports the Austin Optimist Club. Thanks for making a difference in the lives of Austin youth! From ranch-style homes in Avery Ranch to luxury homes in Westlake, Regent PG is here to help this holiday season.

Youth Organizations Supported by the Austin Optimist Club:

  • AISD Library
  • Ann Richards Academy
  • Austin Children’s Center
  • Austin Discovery School
  • Austin Parks & Recreation Department
  • Austin Smiles
  • Blue Santa
  • Boy Scouts of America
  • Brown Santa
  • Coats for Kids
  • CARY (Council for At Risk Youth)
  • Dell Children’s Medical Center
  • Down Home Ranch
  • Essay Contest Awards Scholarships
  • First Tee
  • Future View
  • Girl Scouts
  • Gold Youth Leadership Program
  • IC2
  • KMFA
  • McCallum Golf Program
  • Mendez Middle School Clothes Program
  • Miracle Foundation
  • Optimist International Foundation
  • People To People
  • Presbyterian Children’s home
  • ROCK (Ride on Center for Kids)
  • Ronald McDonald House
  • Safe Place
  • Salvation Army Fund
  • Scholarships
  • Scottish Rite Hospital
  • Scottish Rite Learning Center
  • Settlement Home
  • Texan/Texanne Scholarships
  • Town & Country Optimist
  • UT Catholic Center
  • World of Golf
  • YMCA of Austin
  • Young Texan / Texanne Foundation
  • Youth Appreciation Week
  • Youth Pathways

Photos courtesy Austin Optimist Club

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