Lobster traps, also known as lobster pots, are ubiquitous around the coastal towns of New England. Around this time of year, Christmas trees built from stacked lobster pots rise in many towns along the coast. With fishermen being fishermen, a friendly competition between the communities has broken out over who has the best, most attractive or tallest lobster trap tree. This year, Beals, just across Moosabec Reach from Jonesport,Maine appears to have the tallest trap tree, topping out at 60 feet. Rockland’s tree is only 30 feet tall but is decorated with garlands and lobster pot buoys. It was also featured on the Discovery Channel’s “Extreme Christmas Trees.” See the trailer below for a glimpse of Rockland’s lobster trap tree.
As reported by the New York Times: Gloucester is believed to have started the tradition of the large lobster trap tree when it built its first one in 2001. Janice Lufkin Shea, who was a Gloucester shopkeeper at the time, was frustrated that Main Street had no holiday display. She saw a tiny lobster trap tree in someone’s yard and thought a bigger version would be perfect for downtown. Legend has it that when people in Rockland, Me., learned of it, they decided they had to have one, too.