Adrian Samson is a determined man.
Standing on the Treeland Christmas Tree Farm lot opposite the old hospital on Willow Street, he is still selling festive firs and pines to customers, despite the June frost ruining 80 per cent of his trees.
“Unfortunately, that’s Mother Nature and the nature of the beast,” said Samson on Dec. 14. “You’re discouraged about it, but there’s nothing you can do, you just keep on trudging ahead.”
His tree plantation roughly 10 km east of Truro was hammered by the frost six months ago, like many other growers and farmers, who lost crops from blueberries to apples.
With most of his stock damaged or destroyed, Samson urged his customers to shop for trees a little earlier and many did so in the first two weeks of December. By Dec. 14, his lot was increasingly bare and no new trees are coming in.
He warned that another freeze would cause “a real mess.”
The frost that ravaged Samson’s stock in the first week of June ruined trees across southwestern and parts of central Nova Scotia, including Colchester County. Tree growers in places like Annapolis and Digby were also hit hard, often losing about half of their stock.
One area that was not so badly affected was the area around Guysborough in eastern Nova Scotia.
It is from this region that seller Jamie Chisholm grows his trees, which he is currently selling in the Sobeys parking lot near Prince Street. When the Truro News visited the Chisholm Family Christmas Trees lot, rows of balsam firs and pines were stacked up ready for customers.
Chisholm, who says that his sales are up this year as he fills in the demand that other tree farms cannot, also enjoys a loyal customer base, with the same people returning every year.
“It’s a hit or miss thing. I mean, there’s some years I get hit really hard and nobody else did and it seemed like this year, I made out a little better than some other people,” said Chisholm. “I still had some damage, but it was not as bad as a lot of [other] people.”
While most Colchester County residents who want a real tree will likely have one, people outside Nova Scotia could go without, as the severe frost means less product being exported elsewhere. Trees from the province are exported to other Canadian provinces, the United States and the Caribbean.