June 27, 2018 7:33 pm

Nova Scotia Christmas tree farmers worry late-season freeze will have ‘significant’ impact


You may not be thinking about Christmas trees in the middle of summer, but growers across Nova Scotia are worried about their crops.

Grant Hogan, who grows the trees out of his farm in Mount Uniacke, N.S., says 50 per cent of his trees won’t sell this year due to an untimely late-spring freeze.

“This can put you out of business,” Hogan said. “I’ve never seen frost like this, never ever.”

READ MORE: Nova Scotia vineyards, farms facing potentially devastating crop loss due to frost

That’s a similar sentiment that’s being felt across Nova Scotia.

Mike Keddy, president of the Christmas Tree Council of Nova Scotia, says farmers are struggling.

“Of the marketable trees for this year, 50 or 60 per cent of them will not be cut,” Keddy told Global News.

“That’s $15 million. That’s a significant loss.”

WATCH: Maritime farmers reeling from frost damage

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The province’s agriculture minister says they are assessing the damage, and he will be meeting with his federal counterpart to see if there are any compensation options available for farmers.

“Everybody’s involved in this,” Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell said. “It’s a priority for our government, and a priority to make sure we get this right when we do it. But it’s a not an easy, quick, simple answer.”

READ MORE: Canada’s next great wine region: Nova Scotia

Hogan says this is more of a hobby for him, but he hopes others are compensated.

“The person that makes a living with it, and the bigger growers, they need help because they employ a lot of people.”

Hogan just hopes there will be enough trees to go around come Christmas time.

–With files from Steve Silva.  

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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