Matson’s “Christmas Tree Ship” to Arrive on Saturday

According to, Matson Navigation Company is expecting its annual “Christmas Tree Ship” to arrive to port on Saturday in Honolulu.Sonia Isotov reports that following inspection by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture, the trees will be available to customers Sunday morning and shipped throughout the state. “The Christmas Tree ship” has traditionally marked the arrival of the majority of Hawaii’s Christmas trees, recent trends have spread the trees’ arrivals across four separate voyages. This year the first shipment arrived on November 12, with those trees being targeted to retail store’s for their displays, and small amounts for retail sales on neighbor islands. The third and final shipment which will be considerably smaller will arrive on December 3. Matson has been carrying Christmas trees from the Pacific Northwest to Hawaii for over a century. The trees are loaded directly into refrigerated containers at Christmas tree farms located in Oregon and Washington. The containers are then kept sealed and refrigerated throughout the transportation process to maximize freshness upon arrival in Hawaii. Matson estimates that it ships over 100,000 trees every holiday season.

A More Local Solution

For those of us who prefer to support a more local solution to the Christmas tree problem there is one place to go for locally grown Christmas trees. Helemano Farms is your only option, and opens yearly from November 25-December 23 from Tuesday through Sunday. Choose from the traditional island species, the Norfolk pine, or a new addition to Helemano, the Leyland Cypress. This locally owned farm provides sustainable trees to local residents without the threat of introducing harmful species to Hawaii’s delicate environment.

Foreign grown, local owned

There are a couple family operations around the island that provide Christmas trees, but the trees are shipped in from places on the west coast. Richard Tajiri’s Christmas Hawaii is an option for many of the beautiful species that come from the Pacific Northwest. Mr. Tajiri hand selects trees from many different tree farms and has them shipped to Hawaii to sell; some to pre-order and special clients and others for sale at their stand at Ala Moana Center. Another option is Parker Christmas Trees, a local family that owns a Christmas tree farm in Washington, and sells many of their trees on Oahu.

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