Every year millions of Americans flock to the forest to take in the wonderful colors of fall. The red, orange, and yellow leaves of New England are one of the most astounding sites autumn has to offer.
But are trees being unfairly exploited by the autumn tourism industry?
Should maples, oaks, and other deciduous species start charging a fee to look at their beautiful fall foliage?
We reached out to a number of New England trees, but they all told us to talk to their agents.
“Talk to my agent,” said one Birch as he pushed away our cameras and got into the back seat of a Rolls-Royce. “And get that camera off me!”
Already it seems some trees are recognizing the value of their foliage and hiring the industry’s top agents to represent them.
“My clients are all booked straight through November,” said Ned Holtzman, who represents a number of prominent New Hampshire maples. “If you want my guy to show his leaves in public, we’re talking six figures, minimum.”
And the trees aren’t the only ones capitalizing on their fall appeal. Pumpkins have been charging exorbitant carving fees, and many apples refuse to be picked without at least a portion of their salary guaranteed.
“Some of these trees have been out here for two, three hundred years showing off their leaves for free. Do you know how painful it is to survive a winter in Maine without any leaves?” said autumn industry analyst Trent Namors. “I’d say these guys deserve it.”