Beware of counterfeit Christmas trees! A Wisconsin tree producer is claiming that Home Depot, Whole Foods, and other retailers tried to pass off cheap knockoffs of Fraser firs last year.
In 2019, Evergreen East sent Home Depot a notice that it was settling falsely-labeled trees. The court complaint says that the company did not fix the error and now seeks damages, attorneys fees, and an account of every Christmas tree they sold in 2019 labeled or sold as Fraser Fir.
Fraser fir trees are known as top-of-the-line, with dark green needles that are silver on the underside. They can sell for nearly $700 on Manhattan sidewalks but last year chain retailers marketed them for just $80. Evergreen President Kevin Hammer says that sometimes trees are cut early in the year in Canada, shipped to North Carolina, and then labeled Carolina trees.
Home Depot said that it did move to correct the labeling error and Whole Foods has made a motion to dismiss the case for failure to prove harm.
“Home Depot is not Canal street where you buy a fake Gucci bag,” Hammer said. “People go in there and see a tree from Canada and [don’t realize] it’s second or third-rate,.”