Isle sellers say Christmas trees plentiful
Despite reports of a Christmas tree shortage on the mainland, it appears Hawaii will see plenty of trees this year.
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Despite reports of a Christmas tree shortage on the mainland, it appears
Hawaii will see plenty of trees this year.
Retailers said Tuesday their lots will be full of fresh-cut trees imported here for the holiday season —
although variety may be an issue.
Veteran Christmas tree retailer Richard Tajiri said his Christmas Hawaii lot at University Avenue and Coyne Street will have plenty of noble and Nordmann firs but much fewer Douglas and grand firs.
“The shortage on the mainland is the worst I’ve ever seen,” said Tajiri,
who has been selling
Christmas trees for more than 40 years.
The recession 10 years ago pushed a lot of small growers out of business, he said, and the trees that should have been planted then weren’t, resulting in fewer full-grown trees today.
Tajiri said he even had to cancel a shipping container full of trees after the supplier couldn’t fill it with the size of trees he wanted.
“I’ve never seen it like this before,” he said.
Tajiri said that while there won’t be as much variety this season, his full-service lot will open Thanksgiving morning with plenty of trees.
Habilitat’s Christmas Trees Hawaii fundraiser will have hundreds more trees to offer over last year despite the shortage.
“I’m excited,” said Becky Harrison, Habilitat marketing director, adding that many of the trees are in much better shape than last season.
Habilitat will have more than 5,000 trees at five retail locations: Ice Palace Hawaii, Central Union Church,
Ka Makana Alii in Kapolei, Kaneohe Safeway and Kaneohe Burger King. They open on the day after Thanksgiving.
A portion of each tree sold will go toward the nonprofit that runs a long-term addiction treatment center.
Jonathan Ho, acting manager of the state
Department of Agriculture’s plant quarantine branch, said his crews expect to examine just about the same number of trees from Oregon and Washington that were imported to Hawaii last year.
There were fewer than 200 shipping containers last year, down from
212 the year before.
City Mill is already selling noble and Douglas firs at its eight hardware stores across the island. Buyer Iris Norseth said four stores received their allotment of trees last week and that the remaining four stores received their shipment Tuesday.
“They are first-cut trees with better quality than last year,” she said.
Norseth said prices are the same as last year, and free trimming is offered with every purchase of a fresh-cut tree.
And for those looking for artificial trees, City Mill has a range of offerings, from a 2-footer to a 6-foot sheared simulated noble fir with 250 lights.