Hundreds of New Brunswick and Nova Scotian families are cashing in on the growing Christmas tree business in the Maritimes.

Dalhousie University economist Dan Shaw says it’s a sizeable industry for the small provinces, and it’s making the best of what they have.

“We have about 20,000 acres in production and about 1,200 families involved in Christmas tree production,” said Shaw. “We don’t have prime soil, so we're looking for other ways to do agriculture, and a Christmas tree farm is one way to use that less quality land.

There are thousands of Christmas tree farms across Canada, with an export value of over $32 million. New Brunswick and Nova Scotia export the second and third most, worth $8.5 million and $6 million, respectively. 

Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia lead the way for Christmas tree production. According to Stats Canada, 80 per cent of the farmland allocated to growing the traditional holiday tree in Canada is in those three provinces.

Kevin Vienotte is a seventh generation Chirstmas tree farmer in Lunenburg County. He says growing and selling world famous trees is in his blood.

“You just need a saw and stick and for me to keep quiet,” said Vienotte. “I really don’t know what other people do this time of year because this is all we've ever done.”

While the Vienotte’s export as well, it’s the locals that keep the farm going.

“We've actually had people who have been coming every year, so it’s neat. You get to see their kids get bigger every year, just like mine,” said Kevin Vienotte.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kelly Linehan.