Blog: A taste of what you may find on Maui

Christmas trees in Hawaii

Perhaps you are wondering, how does one celebrate Christmas in Hawaii? What do they do about trees?

Well….. a lot of people (myself included) use fake trees. However, you can (believe it or not) also buy real trees. Trees are brought by air-conditioned container from Oregon or Washington State. After several weeks at sea you can imagine how ‘fresh’ they are. But to be fair, I’ve never bought one. Every year there are a few stories on the news about tree shipments that are destroyed or sent back because they have a slug or other bug infestation.

Another option are locally grown Norfolk and Monterey Pine Christmas trees. I don’t actually know anyone who has had one of these, but will be asking around. I’m intrigued at the thought of having a real tree again (I used to love the Fraser Fir Christmas trees we’d get when we lived in BC).

Some people use local trees from Haleakala. The Friends of Haleakala National Park host an annual event where you help clear the mountain of non-native invasive trees, and then use them as your Christmas tree.

And yes, of course you will see palm trees with their trunks wrapped in lights. Though it’s difficult to bring those indoors.

MauiWatch on Facebook recently asked residents to post pictures of their trees. Most of them look very much like ‘mainland’ Christmas trees. But here are a few unique ones, all posted by MauiWatch followers on Facebook.
courtesy MauiWatch

courtesy MauiWatch

courtesy MauiWatch

‘Hawaii Containers must be free from soil and debris and care must be taken to prevent contamination of Christmas trees and containers with soil during storage and loading procedures. Trees shipped to Hawaii must be shaken to qualify for certification. An ODA Shaking Compliance Agreement is required.
Shaking options are: ….
Each containerized shipment of trees shall be accompanied by a valid phytosanitary certificate that has been issued at the point of origin by an agriculture official from the participating domestic regulatory agency. The certificate shall be conspicuously affixed or located on the inside door panel of the container and shall contain the following added declarations:
A)  100 percent of the trees have been mechanically or manually shaken;
B) The trees have been grown and originate from an area free of gypsy moth and sudden oak death; and
C) The shipment is apparently free of yellowjackets (Vespula spp.), snails, slugs and other detrimental pests.’

So now you know….