Christmas trees arrive after overcoming supply shortages
Hundreds of Christmas trees were unpacked, inspected and ready for collection at a Paget garden centre over the weekend.
Aberfeldy Nurseries took delivery of the Fraser firs after the first of two containers arrived on the island.
Checks were carried out by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and inspections were also made of trees sold by The MarketPlace at Heron Bay.
Julie Greaves, general manager at Aberfeldy Nurseries, said yesterday: “The big exciting thing is we actually got to bring in 53ft containers. That’s never been done before.
“They usually come in 20ft containers but we managed to secure two 53ft containers. We got special permission to bring them in.
“On Thursday one arrived and then we unpacked it yesterday.”
She added: “The Department of Environment come to inspect them. We take each one off the container, then we unwrap them and then they inspect, individually, each tree, just to check that there are no bugs or any scale on them.”
She said that all 650 trees on the first container were pre-ordered.
Ms Greaves added: “We’ve got another one coming in next week.
“Again, the majority of those are sold but we’re hoping to have them out for general sale on December 7, all being well.”
She said: “It will be the same sort of amount on the next container but I can’t say exactly how many are going to be out because there are too many variables.”
Ms Greaves explained that Fraser firs had a thicker needle than the Quebec Balsam trees that are also imported to the island.
Ms Greaves added: “They’re a heavier tree. They’re beautiful.”
She said that the firs were sold in three size categories between 5ft and 8ft because a global shortage meant that larger trees could not be secured.
Ms Greaves explained: “Some people here do like their big trees but we were really fortunate actually to get all these trees.”
She added: “We didn’t have a supplier last year and because there is a worldwide shortage we couldn’t secure any, but this year we managed to secure a supplier and he’s worked really hard with us to get these trees to us.
“He grows them in a plantation so they’re not plucked out the landscape.”
Ms Greaves said customers often made it a family event when they collected their Christmas tree.
She added: “It’s nice to see everybody come in.”