“I hope the people in Hawaii are ready for it,” said Richard Tajiri.
It’s an annual tradition Richard Tajiri knows a lot about. Lining up to buy a Christmas Tree.
There is also an Aloha state tradition– agriculture department inspections.
“Well were looking for any type of invasive pests that could be hitchhiking along with the Christmas trees,” said Agriculture Department Inspector Glenn Sakamoto. “So like last year we had a few containers because of slugs that are not found here in Hawaii.”
Inspections that are already underway.
And dealers like Tajiri already know what they’re looking for.
“I’m probably the only one in Hawaii to go out and mark every tree that we bring in,” said Tajiri. “I tag every tree. You know if I see a tree out there and it’s got a little bit of yellow. You know I miss some, I’m not perfect. But I see some yellow and ah I don’t want a yellow tree because I know people in Hawaii don’t want a yellow tree.”
“Most of them are pretty clean,” said Sakamoto. “We have certain conditions that they have to follow before they come into Hawaii. So, they have to be shaken prior to coming into Hawaii. So, relatively coming in they have been relatively clean.”
Tajiri says this year he headed north to Washington state to find better quality trees, that’s a change. And he has also added a new location for a fast growing community.
“To Ala Moana we’re pretty much close to the same. But we do have Kapolei, which is a new lot at the Target, Kapolei Commons they call it,” said Tajiri. “There’s not too many people carrying trees out there. And we had a lot of requests over the year here for us to come out that way.”
Tajiri says price and supply will be the same as last year.
While some trees are here thousands more will arrive over the coming week, with most of those trees destined for sale the day after Thanksgiving.