A boy and man pull a tree to their vehicle Friday at Ben and Molly’s Christmas Tree Farm at 424 Hanson Road in South China. Anna Chadwick/Morning Sentinel

Tree farms in central Maine are reporting a surge in sales that is outpacing previous years as people move from celebrating Thanksgiving to preparing for the Christmas season.

Matthew Quinn, vice president of the Maine Christmas Tree Association, said this year’s opening weekend was one of the busiest in recent memory for Maine farms.

Quinn, who co-owns and operates Quinn’s Tree Farm at 290 West Ridge Road in Cornville, said his farm sold more than 80 trees last weekend, a significant jump from prior years.

“Sales were up substantially on Friday,” he said. “People were ready and raring to go. They were all happy people with smiles on their faces, and they were excited to get out there and get their traditional holiday Christmas tree.”

Christmas tree season kicks off each year on the Friday after Thanksgiving, and Gov. Janet Mills declared last Friday as “Maine Grown Christmas Tree Day.”

Robert Palmer III and his wife co-own Ben and Molly’s Christmas Tree Farm at 424 Hanson Road in South China, which they have operated for six years. Between ringing up customers’ tree purchases, helping families load trees into or onto their vehicles and feeding guests cookies and hot cocoa, Robert Palmer said the first day of the season was one of the liveliest he has seen at the farm.


“This is crazy, it really is,” he said Friday. “It’s one of our busiest first days ever. I mean, we usually don’t do this well on Thanksgiving Friday.”

While tree farms saw success on opening weekend, Quinn said next weekend is likely to prove busier and more profitable. David Higgins, who owns Higgins Christmas Trees at 976 Albion Road in Winslow, said the second week of sales often outpaces the first.

“It’s been busier this year than prior years. We sold 91 trees so we were pretty busy for the first weekend,” Higgins said Tuesday. “This weekend coming up, we’ll probably be busier. I expect to be, at least. It usually tends to be that way.”

While other parts of the country are experiencing Christmas tree shortages due to drought and heat, Quinn said Maine’s tree farms have had no shortage of trees, in part due to a rainy growing season.

A man pulls a tree after cutting it Friday at Ben and Molly’s Christmas Tree Farm at 424 Hanson Road in South China. Anna Chadwick/Morning Sentinel

“Supply and demand is in line better than it ever has been before,” he said. “It was a rainier year, with some amazing beautiful growth and green-blue foliage, but then there were other fields that didn’t drain as well. I had one field that I probably had a fatality rate of close to 25%, yet my well-drained fields were a good strong soil.”

In the years since the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, tree farms across the state have reported record sales, even as the numbers of Christmas tree farms and sellers in Maine continue to fall.

Quinn, Higgins and Palmer said they think the decreasing number of tree farms has helped build community among the remaining farmers. Farms often share supplies from equipment to spare wreaths, Quinn said, pooling their resources to benefit one another.

“Say I reach out because I need some ribbon for a wreath, I can count on the other farms to come through,” he said. “As opposed to years past, where they would have said, ‘Oh no, sorry, you’re on your own.’

“I am very lucky to be in an environment where we do collaborate with other friends. We all kinda have understood that by working together and collaborating and getting things done as a group, we all have a tendency to thrive.”

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.