Evergreens out east: Hilo hot spot to buy traditional Christmas tree

  • Kaipuaala Crabbe, a counselor with the National Guard Youth Challenge Academy, waters wreaths on Monday in preparation for the Hilo Y's Men and Women's Club annual tree sale, which will open to the public this week. (STEPHANIE SALMONS / Tribune-Herald)
  • Josiah Anderson, 17, and Pelika Delovio, 16, with the National Guard Youth Challenge

    Academy, water Christmas trees in preparation for the Hilo Y’s Men and Women’s Club annual tree sale, which opened to the public last week. (STEPHANIE SALMONS / Tribune-Herald)

HILO — Those looking for a traditional Christmas tree should get to Hilo.

The Hilo Y’s Men and Women’s Club 69th annual Christmas tree sale opens to the public Friday until the trees are sold out, which both men expect to happen by next week.

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Hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Tree sale co-chairman Bobby Stivers-Apiki said the group brought in 450 trees for the sale, or one container, which is about the same as last year.

Noble firs, grand firs and Nordmann firs are available, as are “elf trees,” which are about 3 feet tall. Prices range from $25-$285, depending on the height and type of tree, Stivers-Apiki said.

“Our sale price is higher because the proceeds, again, help the local YMCA and our community,” he said. “… But most of the people that buy our trees are supporting the cause. And that’s what we love about this.”

The sale is a lot of work, Stivers-Apiki said, but the commitment to help the YMCA and the community is why it continues.

Loyal customers keep returning, he said, “and we have grandparents bringing their grandchildren. When they were kids, they came to the Christmas tree sale with their parents. Now, they’re bringing their grandchildren to buy trees. So it’s a generational thing after 69 years, and that’s pretty special.”

Live Christmas trees also can be found at other locations throughout Hilo.

Paradise Plants Home and Garden Center, located at 40 Wiwoole St., is offering live, potted Norfolk pine trees, ranging from 2 feet to 10 feet, said owner Maika Hill-Higgins.

The store currently has smaller trees in stock, with the others due this week, she said.

Paradise Plants also has “lots of poinsettias” in a variety of colors, from traditional red to pink and gold.

“The yellow ones are unique this year,” Hill-Higgins said.

According to Hill-Higgins, the trees, which range from $4.95-$38.95, and the poinsettias, which range from $6.95-$26.95, are locally sourced on the Big Island.

“These are all local, so as long as there’s no major catastrophes, we’ll be fine.”

The store also offers tree stands, tree toppers “and a whole variety of unique Christmas ornaments.”

Paradise Plants is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

A variety of trees also can be found at KTA Puainako, which began selling evergreens last week.

The store has sheared Douglas, noble, Nordmann and grand fir varieties, which also are available flocked (adorned with fake snow) or colored. Prices range from $70-$300, depending on the size and variety.

Supervisor Chris Behle said the store “brought in the same amount (of trees) we brought in last year,” and they are selling fast.

According to Behle, the store brought in a container of trees and was “halfway down already” by Monday last week.

Behle offered this bit of advice to those looking to buy a Christmas tree: Don’t wait.

“We are in the thick of Christmas tree purchasing on this side of the island right now,” he said. “Don’t wait too long, unless you’re really ambivalent about getting a tree.”

Behle said he thinks Hilo will “run out early again this year.”

Customers searching for that perfect pine can shop the trees at KTA Puainako from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, except on Thanksgiving Day when the trees will be available for sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Additionally, at Home Depot shoppers can find Douglas, noble and Nordmann firs ranging from almost $32-$198 for trees 3-4 feet to 9-10 feet tall.

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Noble and Douglas fir varieties also are available at Walmart. Prices posted at the store range from $50-$102 for trees that range from 3-5 feet to 8-9 feet.

Email Stephanie Salmons at ssalmons@hawaiitribune-herald.com.