Sprucing up BDA: The Oleander in Hamilton dock on Monday, complete with her cargo of trees.
• Photo by Simon Jones.
Sprucing up BDA: The Oleander in Hamilton dock on Monday, complete with her cargo of trees. • Photo by Simon Jones.
Thousands of Christmas trees have been shipped into Bermuda.

The first batch of firs and spruces arrived in five containers on the Bermuda Islander last Thursday.

The Oleander brought another 4,000 into Hamilton on Monday morning.

Both vessels will bring new shipments on their next call.

By the beginning of next week, 10,000 Christmas trees will have been ferried across the Atlantic from the fields of North America to homes in Bermuda.

Most originate in Quebec, Canada, but there are also firs from Michigan, North Carolina and Vermont.

The massive influx of &flora marks the beginning of a busy few weeks for the environmental protection department.

Officers visited Canada and the U.S. in October to inspect the quality of the trees.

They have to be checked again when they are hauled off the ships in Bermuda.

Terry Lynn Thompson, senior plant protection officer, said: "It's all about protecting our trees and making sure the Christmas trees we receive are not carrying any diseases or pests.

"We are also checking the trees that have been shipped are the same ones we inspected in October.

"We check a random selection from each container and it can take a few days for all the requisite inspections to be done on a batch of trees."

The Bermuda Islander returns to Hamilton with her second batch of Christmas trees tomorrow.

She will also bring other festive treats, plus her usual cargo of construction materials and supplies.

The Oleander pulls into the capital on Sunday evening, weather permitting.

And the Somers Isles is back on Tuesday all the way from Fernandina Beach in Florida.

Today, the M/T British Courtesy tanker arrives at the oil docks in St George's.

She brings thousands of barrels of heavy fuel for Belco to power generators across Bermuda.