Maritime Christmas tree industry booming during pandemic, may be helped by ‘buy local’ movement

The COVID-19 pandemic has hurt business for many companies, but it appears the retail Christmas tree trade isn’t one of them.

Many lots and farms have just opened for the season. Their operators say they are already busier, and selling more than other years.

“Over 100 families turned up on day one, which is more trees than we sold all season last year,” said Amy Leblanc-Watson, a grower with Forrester’s Point Family Tree Farm in Quispamsis, N.B. “It was crazy, it was fun – it’s still November, so we were shocked.”

Forrester’s Point Family Tree Farm typically only sells 20 to 30 trees on the first weekend of the season.

Tree lots around Fredericton got an early start this year, and their sales, too, are well above the norm.

“Sales have increased over the weekend,” said Donny Guy, a tree seller in New Brunswick's capital city. “Last November, this time we might have sold maybe a dozen trees. And now we’re close to five dozen trees already sold.”

Guy says he thinks many people are staying home because of the pandemic, and inspired by pleasant weather to start decorating early.

It's a similar story for one tree lot in Dartmouth, N.S., where opening weekend was one of their busiest in years.

“You know what, I think people are getting that cabin fever and want to do more maybe than they’ve done in the past,” said Richard Levesque, who spoke to CTV News on Monday while out buying garland. “People are doing more with their own homes whether it’s renovations or repairs, and it’s a good thing. We have to find a good thing these days.”

Christmas tree growers say there is no need to worry about supply – they have plenty, and they’ll be out until Christmas week.

Some growers also said the “buy local” movement may be playing a part in this year’s strong sales.

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