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Nova Scotia Christmas trees ready to make a comeback
HALIFAX -- While Saturday’s rain may put a damper on the holiday spirit for many -- showers will likely bring big sales to Christmas tree lots when the sky clears. Despite showers and snow giving trees a light dusting of moisture and charm, it doesn’t help business during the precipitation – but those in the Christmas tree industry are hopeful.
On Friday, it was a busy morning at Christmas tree lots around the Maritimes with employees coming in earlier than expected to help with a pre-rainfall rush.
"Last evening they watched the weather, they'll come, we'll be busier today, we'll be busy Sunday, and then some people come out in the rain," says Harrington’s Christmas Tree Lot owner, Christ Harrington.
And others agree.
"As long as our rain suits hold together and the wind isn't too bad,” says Christmas tree grower, Barry Murphy. “If the wind is bad, it's definitely going to affect business."
However, growers say the extra hydration is good for sales and gives the trees a new lease on life.
"The rain is good,” says Murphy. “It cleans the trees off and makes them look shiny."
Although people in the industry say, frigid weather is detrimental to Christmas tree sales because the tress must be bundled up – making for a less than festive display for customers.
"And the snow on the trees makes it hard to see the trees,” says Murphy “But we work through all different environments – minus-two, plus-two. Dry and sunny last week – that was perfect."
Many farmers say 2019’s growing season was successful compared to the extreme damage sustained during the 2018 June frost. For the most part, growers saw a larger crop in 2019 – while others are still feeling some of the effects.
"We're seeing that some of the trees didn't heal-out as we were expecting,” says Murphy. “Some healed-out faster than expected, but some growers are saying they're a little short."
Meanwhile, the industry continues to re-build from the previous season's loss. Fortunately, people who work at Harrington’s Christmas Tree Lot say tree purchases begin earlier each year – which is always good for business.