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Transporting Christmas trees safely can prevent vehicle crashes and damage

SAN ANTONIO – They had fewer trees and fewer buyers last year at the Holiday Hills Christmas Trees stand, off State Highway 151. This year, business is brisk.

“People want something to lift them up. And Christmas, I’ve found in San Antonio, in Texas in general, is big,” said Judi Harland, who runs the stand with her husband.

They make sure everyone who leaves here with a tree does so safely.

“They will actually strap it down, tie it down. We have twine. We have a special way that we tie it down, so that tree’s not going to fall off the car until they cut it off,” Harland said.

And they refuse to tie down flocked trees, requiring them to be placed in a pickup truck or inside an SUV.

AAA Texas reminds drivers that safety is important for not only Christmas trees but also things like ladders and furniture. There were more than 1,300 crashes involving unsecured loads in Texas last year, with one death and several injuries.

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“And the problem with those items is they can fall and then they become road debris, and oftentimes we’ll see another vehicle hit that road debris,” said Daniel Armbruster, a spokesperson for AAA Texas. “It can do damage to another vehicle, or that debris can fly up and injure or kill someone in another vehicle.”

The type of vehicle you use is also important, Armbruster said. Avoid using smaller cars to transport items and instead use pickups or SUVs with racks so that items can be better secured. Holiday Hills actually requires flocked trees to be transported that way.

And slow down: taking the back roads may be a better option when transporting large items.

“Extra speed can create significant airflow that can damage your tree and even challenge even the best of tie down, so it’s really important just to make sure that you’re monitoring your speed and going at or below the speed limit,” Armbruster said.

Holiday Hills has a fee-based delivery service to help those who don’t have the right vehicles to transport trees. They are still hiring for the holiday rush to help with the load.

Written by Samuel King

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