Thanksgiving turkeys have yet to be served and Christmas trees are already on sale.
The evergreens are currently available at Walmart, while Home Depot in Kahului is set to begin selling them Wednesday.
"We'll start unloading the trees tomorrow," said Human Resource Manager Mike Miyashiro of Home Depot on Monday. "As we're unloading, we usually have people watching and waiting because they want to buy the trees right then and there."
Miyashiro said that they typically get five to six containers from Oregon and Washington. The containers hold anywhere from 200 to 500 trees each and include a variety of firs and other trees from the Pacific Northwest. The team spends an entire day "slinging trees" and setting up for the next day.
"We try to get everyone that's available to help unload the trucks," Miyashiro said. "I don't know how much those things weigh, but my arms are dead by the end of the day."
Lowe's in the Maui Marketplace is expecting three containers of trees and plans to begin selling them at 5 a.m. on Black Friday, though that is pending approval from the Department of Agriculture. They have been receiving calls about reserving trees since early October, according to a Kahului store official.
Despite the high volume of trees at each of these stores, they have had no problem selling out. In the nine years that Miyashiro has worked at Home Depot, not one tree was left unsold.
Up at Kula Botanical Gardens, Helen McCord hopes customers will see the benefits of buying locally grown trees.
McCord manages the farm alongside her husband, Warren, and son, Jeffrey; they hope to sell from 1,500 to 2,000 Monterey pines.
"We treat our trees the same way as we treat fresh flowers. We cut them the day before they're sold," Helen McCord said. "The Northwest firs that are imported to Maui look great initially, but when they're taken out of cold storage they don't look so good. But that's what happens when you take a tree from a colder environment to a tropical one."
Stephen Carey, who is a field associate at Whole Foods Market in Kahului, agrees with McCord and said that the supermarket will begin selling locally grown Christmas trees Friday.
"We approached the McCord family about selling some of their trees at our store because we wanted to avoid endangering . . . (native) species," Carey said. "Trees imported from the Mainland run the possibility of having insects or other foreign species that could potentially be harmful to the environment."
Carey said that they will start off with 35 trees, and hopefully end the holidays with around 70 sold.
McCord and Carey have not made any formal plans about continuing their agreement next year, but McCord is happy that her family's trees continue to sell.
"I think people are becoming more conscious of buying locally," McCord said. "It's really great, we put up the tent, set up wreaths, serve hot chocolate, et cetera. It's a family tradition."
Kula Botanical Gardens opens its lots Nov. 30 to Dec. 2, and again on Dec. 8 and 9.
* Chris Sugidono can be reached at email@example.com.