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The real Christmas deal

By Beckie Wilson

[email protected]

There’s no better way to celebrate the festive season than with a real Christmas tree.

Greytown couple Paul and Monica Mallinson, have been providing the essential Christmas decoration to families in the region for the past 13 years.

What started as a sideline business for the couple, called Classic Christmas Trees, has now turned into a sell-out Christmas business venture and their busiest time of year.

Mr Mallinson is a meteorologist with Wellington Metservice, and Mrs Mallinson, who is Canadian, has recently finished working as a dental hygienist.

When they bought their lifestyle block in rural Greytown in the early 2000s, Mr Mallinson had wanted to use the land to grow something. After a couple of years researching ideas on how to use the land they decided to grow Christmas trees.

Their four-acre section has about 5500 planted trees ranging from popular types such as pine, cedar, norway and white fir.

“It’s gone crazy in the last four years, we’ve [usually] sold out before Christmas,” Mr Mallinson said.

“This year we have almost sold out of all trees, but will sell 700 like usual.”

Punters can begin reserving their trees on the last weekend of November. They are given name tags to attach to a tree, and then come back in December to pick them up.

“People come from Palmerston North, Kapiti and Hastings and we even courier some to Auckland.”

The same families had been returning since they opened.

“It’s really nice that it’s created a tradition for some families, children will always remember it.”

Maintenance is key for the business whether it be keeping the land tidy by mowing the grass between rows, and shaping the trees.

However, they aren’t tied to the property as the trees don’t need day-to-day care.

During the year, they provide trees for mid-year functions, weddings, and advertising.

They have learned everything they know through trial and error over the years. He said he didn’t get too attached to the trees but said pricing was the hardest part of the business.

“It’s been a success, and it’s very productive for the size of land.”

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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