Christmas tree farmers are struggling to keep up with supply as the pandemic drives an upswing in consumer demand this festive season.

Key points:

  • Forestry company gives away free Christmas trees from radiata pine commercial estates
  • Christmas tree supply squeezed by closure of farms, along with weather and pests
  • Former gardener for Royal family shares his secrets to keeping Christmas trees fresh

A South Australian supplier is fielding enquiries from customers in Sydney and Melbourne who wish to have a live tree in their lounge room this Christmas.

Christmas tree grower Kim Kemeny said demand was soaring in the lead-up to Christmas.

He said there had been a spike in sales with some people wanting to pamper themselves this Christmas after a difficult year due to the pandemic.

“People during COVID really want to treat themselves this Christmas,” Mr Kemeny said.

“A number of Christmas tree farms have also closed, which is making demand higher.

He said pests, such as rabbits, and weather had also impacted on the number of trees available.

Woman putting decorations on tree

OneFortyOne forestry worker Bella Walker joins in the Christmas spirit.(Supplied: OneFortyOne)

Forestry tree giveaway

One of Australia’s largest integrated forestry companies, OneFortyOne, is spreading the festive spirit by giving away radiata pine Christmas trees to the community. 

Silviculture forester Adrian Lynch said radiata pines were thinned from commercial estates on the Limestone Coast.

“This is my first year helping out with the Christmas trees, but OneFortyOne has given away hundreds over the years,” Mr Lynch said.

“The trees are thinned from different parts of our estate, and while they’re not the kind for building houses with, they’re perfect for bringing home to decorate with the family.

“I’m looking forward to sharing that with my family and being a part of the joy we hope to bring to others who collect a tree.”

Trees can be collected at the Glencoe Nursery and OneFortyOne depots at Mount Gambier, Nangwarry, and Mount Burr.

Man with trees

Calum Haygarth says it is important to water Christmas trees to retain their freshness.(Supplied: Calum Haygarth)

Festive tree tips

Mount Gambier nursery owner and landscaper Calum Haygarth, who is a former gardener to the British Royal family, said it was important to re-cut the bottom of the trunk over the festive season to keep the tree looking fresh.

He said about 1.5 centimetres from the bottom of the tree trunk will keep it looking its best.

“This ensures the trunk system has not sealed over with sap and allows the tree to draw water through its system effectively,” Mr Haygarth said.

He said an average tree would need about 3.8 litres of water per day.

Early in his career, Mr Haygarth worked for the Queen Mother at the Castle of Mey in Scotland.

Looking for a live Christmas tree? This forestry company is giving them away
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