It's a shop, but it only sells one product.

Bruce Mansfield and Maryann Hills own Hawke's Bay Christmas Trees on Te Aute Rd in Pakakipaki.

Their business is one of several in Hawke's Bay selling live Christmas trees.

"A mate of mine, Jimmy Thorne, he had Clive Christmas Trees over in Clive and he was very successful with his Christmas trees, so when I bought this block - been here 17 years - we didn't know what to do with it, so we just leased the block out for while," Mr Mansfield said.


"We then decided we would plant Christmas trees because it's got to be easy, because all we have to do is bung them in the ground, wait a few years, and sell them."

But growing and selling Christmas trees is no walk in the park.

"A lot of work – a heck of a lot of work to get them a saleable item," he said. "But it's good fun."

He said some people spent "ages and ages" choosing a Christmas tree, while others "just walk in and say, 'That one there will do'".

He hopes his paddock will be empty by Christmas but he's a realist.

"We will never sell them all because trees being trees, not all are perfect and there's going to be quite a few left over that people just aren't going to want.

"But with a bit of work they'll be the big trees for next season."

Cutting the pinus radiata tips results in several new tips emerging, a technique for growing a symmetrical tree.

"These trees are actually grown for the forestry. They don't like branches in the forestry, so we have to encourage them to grow branches. But that's Maryanne who is magic- she develops them.


"You get the natural tree that grows perfectly all by itself but there's the ones that need a lot of help."

A small, imperfect tree is $10 and a good one can be had for $40.

People can reserve a tree, tagging it for harvest at a later date.

A small price to pay for a pine-scented home come Christmas Day.

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