By Jason Malloy
Paul Robar believes everyone should pitch in to help stop the gradual decline of Nova Scotia’s Christmas tree industry.
The Aylesford resident started working in the business with his father and continued for decades, leaving it about 10 years ago. He has witnessed an increase in artificial trees and worries about the future.
“If it keep on the way it’s going I’m afraid in 10 years (time) it will be the same as the hog industry,” he said. “I don’t want to see it go under.”
At one time he had more than 200 acres of Christmas trees in the Lake Paul area. He remembers when business was booming.
“When I first opened my Christmas tree u-pick it was all by word of mouth. When I started advertising in the Register it was bumper-to-bumper traffic,” he recalled of the 150 trees sold in one weekend.
“I never saw the likes.”
But that was years ago.
“The artificial trees came into play and has taken away from the real tree,” he said, noting that money goes overseas. “I think they should be supporting local businesses.”
He would also like to see government buy real trees for its offices across the province and also pay for an advertising campaign.
Asked if he has ever had an artificial tree, Robar responds matter-of-factly and without hesitation.
“No way,” he said. “I love the smell and I love the look” of a real tree.
“It gives you a real Christmas, not an artificial one.”