Christmas trees in demand

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A major seller of live Christmas trees in Dunedin has sold out more than two weeks ahead of the big day, but other suppliers in the city are confident they can meet demand.
Owner operator of John Munro’s Christmas Tree Farm John Munro said he had sold out of trees last Saturday at 1.30pm.
Mr Munro said he began selling the festive trees, which had grown to maturity, every year in response to inquiries by the public. This was typically towards the end of November.
The pine trees sold by Mr Munro were grown at the farm until they reached maturity at seven and a-half years. This obviously meant trees could not be replaced in quick time.
“It takes that long to get through to the big tree, so you can’t just suddenly [say] `oh we’ll make a few more next year’. It takes that long to get them through. There’s quite a lot in it.”
Mr Munro would not say how many trees had been sold this year because the information was commercially sensitive.
Running out of mature trees for sale was the consequence of skipping planting rotations for a few years.
Mr Munro said this was being rectified with increased planting.
“We’re planting hundreds and hundreds of more trees now and we will catch up.
“We should have plenty of trees for next year.”
Other suppliers of Christmas trees in Dunedin this festive season are confident they can now meet demand.
Moana House begins its annual Christmas tree sales fundraiser today, from its central Dunedin location. Sales will run until Christmas or when stocks sell out.
Workday co-ordinator Nathan Malcolm was confident trees would not sell out.
The organisation was sourcing wilding pines from Beaumont and Naseby forests this festive season.
Mr Malcolm said he had inspected stocks and, even with Mr Munro selling out of trees, he was confident Moana House would not run out before the big day.
“There’s tonnes of them about so I would imagine we would be fine.”
Interest typically remained high over the whole of the fundraiser, Mr Malcolm said.
“The only thing steady is that you can guarantee there’ll be a crowd of people generally waiting to pick their trees.”
Trees of the World, in Allanton, also sells conifers and other species that can be used as Christmas trees.
Rodney Hogg, who co-owns the business with his wife, Carolyn, said the conifers were sold either in bags or in plant boxes.
Those conifers typically used as Christmas trees ranged in size from 50cm high to a metre.
Interest in Christmas trees usually began either at the end of October or start of November, Mr Hogg said.
He said there was “no real pattern” regarding sales of Christmas trees, which were typically steady through November and December.
Mr Hogg was not concerned Trees of the World would run out of Christmas trees.
“We’ve got heaps.”