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May all your Christmases be . . . purple

Compton Nursery sells trees in a wide variety of colors -- including green.

December 12, 2009|By Ruben Vives
  • Gonzalo Gonzalez began customizing trees about seven years ago when a customer asked for one in blue.
Gonzalo Gonzalez began customizing trees about seven years ago when a customer… (Ruben Vives/Los Angeles…)

The corner of Rosecrans and Bradfield avenues in Compton might not have the fanciest decorations or the tallest Christmas tree.

But for passing motorists, it's a holiday scene they won't soon forget.

Lined along the street are rows of Christmas trees in a rainbow of colors -- yellow, pink, orange, blue, red, white and, yes, green.

Standing outside Compton Nursery on Friday, owner Gonzalo Gonzalez, 54, said the tradition of coloring evergreens began about seven years ago when a customer made an unusual request.

"He wanted a blue-flocked Christmas tree," Gonzalez said.

Taking the same compound used to flock, or give the appearance of snow on, Christmas trees, Gonzalez turned the tree blue.

Then more requests followed, along with more colors -- red, pink and purple.

This year, he decided to add orange and yellow to his palette. He says sales have been brisk.

The trees seldom fail to draw attention.

"We've had some deputies from the L.A. County Sheriff's Department take pictures of the trees," Gonzalez said.

Blue, purple and pink medium-height trees sell for about $50. Smaller trees are $25.

So far, Gonzalez has sold four red trees, three pink ones and three purple ones. Yellow also seems to be popular this year. "We've sold about five of the yellow ones," he said.

Still, the traditional green and white trees are the big sellers.

Gonzalez says that after 25 years of business in Compton, he has yet to figure out why people want trees in different colors.

The purple trees, he assumes, are probably for Lakers fans.

ruben.vives@latimes.com

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