With fewer trees to be had, Christmas tree lots see brisk sales

Updated: Nov. 25, 2016 at 4:17 PM HST
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(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Black Friday didn't just kick off the holiday shopping season. It also prompted brisk sales of Christmas trees.

Tree sellers say there are lots to choose from this year, but you probably shouldn't wait too long. That's because about 20,000 fewer trees are being shipped in this year.

Business was steady all morning at Richard Tajiri's Christmas Hawaii at the former Varsity Theater.

"We have enough trees and I have four or five more containers coming on this boat," Tajiri said.

Initially, there was some talk about there being a tree shortage this year, but Tajiri thinks that was overblown.

He did say, though, that popular Douglas firs were hard to come by.

"They got a little panicky. There is a shortage definitely in the Northwest," Tajiri said, "I couldn't even get Douglas firs this year."

The state Department of Agriculture says a little under 110,000 trees will be imported to the state this season, down from about 130,000 last year.

Tree shopper Dayna Kitamura and her son Kayde checked a few spots before finding their tree at Tajiri's lot.

"It was crowded and we checked more than one place but we ended up coming back here because the tree was nicer." Kitamura said.

Tajiri says he's expecting about 4,300 trees this season for his two locations.

Meanwhile, at the City Mill in Iwilei, assistant manager Ron Souza said he'll have just over 300 trees to sell.

Each City Mill will have about the same amount. "The numbers are there." Souza said, "People coming through, taking advantage of black Friday."

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