In 2018, Joe’s Pines — a piece of Dayton-area holiday history for six decades — moved about a mile and a half south from its longtime location near the old county fairgrounds grandstand to the parking lot of the former Neil’s Heritage House Restaurant on West Schantz Avenue.
But the new location will have its challenges this year with the Schantz Avenue bridge rebuild at South Patterson Boulevard. Owner Bob Stone said he hopes patrons will be able to navigate the detour signs.
Construction began the first week of April on the bridge project and affected traffic in the area by the Heritage House where owner Bob Stone has brought his Christmas tree business.
Stone has owned the business for almost 34 years, noting that it has drawn in area families who have been loyal customers for generations.
“Most of them say: ‘My parents brought us here’ or ‘my grandparents brought us here’ or ‘I’m a grandparent now,’” Stone said.
Even with a little traffic congestion and location change, he thinks people will still be able to come out and spot the big green and white tent surrounded by Christmas trees.
“I was out there the other day, and it looks like they just have a little bit more of concrete to pour,” Stone said regarding the construction. “I sent a letter to all of my customers letting them know that we will be open as usual.”
The day after Thanksgiving, from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m., until Christmas Eve or when the supply runs out, he is hoping that people will navigate the detour signs to come out and get their tree for the holidays.
“We should have about 1,300 trees this year,” Stone said.
He said the best way to locate the Joe Pine’s location is by using the old Heritage House address, 2323 West Schantz Ave.
Stone had to seek a new location last year following the sale of the old fairgrounds to the Premier Health and the University of Dayton.
He said sales of Christmas trees last year got off to a slow start with the new location, but picked up and became steady.
“We started out slow for the first 10 days or so, then business picked up,” Stone said.
Scotch pine, Douglas fir, Black Hills spruce and blue spruce are coming from Michigan. White pines are arriving from Tennessee and Fraser firs from North Carolina. Noble firs from Washington State will also share space with Balsam firs from Nova Scotia.
The least expensive trees cost $18 while a few may run up to $300, according to Stone. But on average, trees cost $60 to $70.
During the construction of the bridge project the following traffic routes will be in effect:
• Schantz Avenue will be closed at the bridge.
• Access to South Dixie Highway will be detoured using South Patterson Boulevard, Crauder Avenue, and Sacramento Avenue.
• Two-way traffic on South Dixie Highway will be maintained, though, reduced from two lanes to one lane in each direction.
• Northbound traffic will not able to turn left at Mayo Avenue, Carrollton Avenue, Prosser Avenue, nor Calvary Drive.