Maui News

Matson “Christmas Tree Ship” Arrives Saturday

November 21, 2011, 2:33 PM HST
* Updated November 21, 3:41 PM
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The Matson barge MV Maunalei.

Photo courtesy of Matson.

By Sonia Isotov

Matson Navigation Company’s annual “Christmas Tree Ship” will arrive in Honolulu on Saturday, November 27, delivering evergreens from the Pacific Northwest.

Following inspection by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture, the trees will be available to customers Sunday morning and shipped throughout the state.

While traditionally the “Christmas Tree Ship” has marked the arrival of the majority of Hawaii’s Christmas trees, recent trends have spread the trees over four vessel voyages, with the bulk of this year’s trees arriving on the S.S. Maui on November 19 and the MV Manoa on November 26.

File photo.

The first small shipment arrived on the Manoa on November 12, with those trees primarily targeted for retail store displays and limited neighbor island retail sales. A final, small shipment of trees will arrive on the Maui on Saturday, December 3.


Matson has been carrying Christmas trees from the Pacific Northwest to Hawaii for over a century. The trees are loaded directly into refrigerated containers at Christmas tree farms located inOregon and Washington.  The containers are then kept sealed and refrigerated throughout the transportation process to maximize freshness upon arrival in Hawaii. Matson estimates that it ships over 100,000 trees every holiday season.

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