Christmas tree producers across the Maritimes gear up for busy season
This weekend is one of the busiest of the year in woodlots across the Maritimes as Christmas tree growers scramble to fill orders from all over North America.
Bruce Perry, a tree grower from Alberta, returns to New Brunswick in mid-November every year for the busy period.
He calls the trip a “working visit.”
"You get to come back home and see family and friends. It’s hard work, but it's worth it," said Perry.
Over the weekend, there's a crew working his family's Christmas tree farm and dozens of other farms around the region. For many of them, the deadline is just days away.
"Most of these, they'll be setting up lots in Moncton and they'll want them on the lot for next weekend,” said Christmas tree grower Arnold Perry. “We'll try to get them at least a couple hundred trees because some of them take quite a lot of trees."
A single farm will cut and ship more than 3,000 trees over the next couple of weeks. They’ll ship them to local markets, to Prince Edward Island, as well as to Ontario. Others are benefitting from the low Canadian dollar with contracts in the lucrative U.S. market.
Arnold Perry has been in the business for four decades. He says the trees have bounced back from a dry summer and are in good shape for early shipping.
"This fall we've been getting just enough rain to keep things going,” he said. “Now I think down in Nova Scotia some of them were a little drier than we were, but we were getting a few showers when they weren't."
The trees have to be sheared and cared for during the summer months. It’s work that pays off in November when the trees have a nice appearance, and it keeps up the reputation of Maritime Christmas trees.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Mike Cameron.