Maryland's Christmas trees will join the swaying palms in the Caribbean this holiday season thanks to Oscar Nicholson Jr., owner of Nicholson's Tree Farm near Deale.
Mr. Nicholson has shipped 1,700 of his Maryland-grown Christmas trees -- Douglas fir, Scotch pine and white pine -- to Puerto Rico and Aruba for sale this year. The trees, which cost $29.95 to $39.95 at his Maryland farm in Anne Arundel County, are selling on the streets of Puerto Rico and Aruba for $90 to $150 apiece, he said.
Even at that price, people are snapping them up, Mr. Nicholson said.
"They can't get enough of them," he said.
Mr. Nicholson said he got the idea for a Christmas expedition to the Caribbean after he found out there was a demand for Christmas trees there from the Maryland Department of Agriculture. On a working trip to the islands in August, Mr. Nicholson said he confirmed that assessment himself.
The trees were shipped to the islands in refrigerated containers, he said.
To keep the trees from wilting in the hot Caribbean sun, they were transported in refrigerated trucks and displayed under party tents.
"I had no idea until this year that they were so enthusiastic about trees and the Christmas celebration," Mr. Nicholson said.