Busy weekend for Christmas tree sales

The holiday season is in full swing and hundreds of people are flocking to Christmas tree lots.

This year, fewer trees were shipped to the islands due to a shortage on the mainland.

You still have time to find the perfect tree, but vendors say this is usually the busiest weekend for tree sales so don’t wait too long.

We’re told Christmas trees have been selling fast ever since Black Friday.

“We were unprepared for that, that was chaotic is the word for it I guess. I’ve never seen anything like it,” Richard Tajiri said about the Black Friday rush. “Today has been real busy. We’ve emptied one container already of the three that came in and we got another one almost three quarters empty.”

It’s the same story at The Home Depot in Iwilei.

“We’ve been averaging about a container a day of Christmas trees,” Luke Marshek said.

Depending on the tree size, that’s about 400-500 trees per container but some places didn’t receive as many shipments this season due to a shortage on the mainland.

“We didn’t get quite as many trees as last year but the sales have been pretty good,” Gary Wilson, a supervisor at City Mill in Iwilei, said.

Wilson said it got one shipment this year and only a few dozen trees are left.

Mr. Christmas aka Tajiri said shipping costs went up this year so he had to raise tree prices for the first time in a decade.

“The growers went up 20-30 percent and the trucking charges went up. Some trees we went up about $5 and other trees we went up about $8-$10.” Tajiri said.

As for the mainland tree shortage, we’re told that really only affected his stock of Noble fir trees.

“A lot of the trees I like are sold,” Roberta Bennett said.

“The best trees usually go first. Our first choice was a noble and they were out of the nobles,” Gigi Robles said.

Others haven’t been affected much at all.

“We were expecting to see a lot of people, but not this many trees. This is the most I’ve ever seen in one place,” Robin Miller said.

“Luckily we have a good relationship with our growers and they’re sending out an abundant amount year after year so we haven’t seen a huge shortage like a lot of other vendors have so we’ve been fortunate in that area,” Marshek said.

We’re told the noble fir trees are big sellers but hundreds of people are opting for flocked trees this year too.

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