Think of a “Hawaiian Christmas tree,” and you think of a swaying palm tree with a red ribbon wrapped around the trunk, right?
Nope, says Warren McCord, owner of Kula Botanical Gardens. His definition of a Hawaiian Christmas tree is a fat, green, fresh-cut Monterey pine from his Kula farm.
McCord and his wife, Helen, plant about 2,000 of the pines on their 11 acres every year. On the first weekend in December, they start cutting down the bigger trees, putting up the tents, pulling out the signs, and getting ready for the Gardens’ the busiest time of year.“My son, Jeffrey, and I cut the trees in the morning, so they are as fresh as you can get,” Warren says. “They smell amazing.”
Maui residents are happy to shell out about $10 per pine-scented foot to bring that unmistakable aroma into their homes during the holiday season.
The annual sale of 1,500 Christmas trees provides necessary funds for maintaining the botanical gardens, according to Warren. Most of the trees sold are in the 6- to 8-foot range, but the McCords also provide the 20-foot, light-bedecked giant at the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua. That’s one big Hawaiian Christmas tree!
The Christmas tree sale at Kula Botanical Gardens takes place Friday through Sunday, December 1 through 3; and Saturday and Sunday, December 9 and 10. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The gardens are located at Kekaulike Avenue and Highway 377 in Kula. Call (80*) 878-1715 for more information.