Push to put pests to festive use

SHARE

by Emma Perry

Wanting to do something different when getting a Christmas tree this year?

Look no further than High Country Contracting, which will sell wilding pines as Christmas trees for a charitable cause.

High Country Contracting owner Khan Adam said the idea of reusing wilding pines, classified as a pest in New Zealand, came to him several weeks ago.

“We cut down thousands of wilding pines so I thought it would be a great idea to sell them and donate to charity.”

Staff would cut down trees from the Mackenzie Basin for the initiative prior to the first weekend of December, when they could be collected from Pleasant Point.

Twenty-five staff from the company were dedicated to cutting down wilding pines full-time.

Proceeds from the trees would go towards mental health charity I Am Hope.

Mr Adam said a Givealittle page would be set up, through which people could buy a $25 tree for themselves or a family in need, or give to the cause without getting a tree.

The firm had applied for an exemption from Environment Canterbury’s regional pest management plan to sell the trees.

Wilding pines are an invasive tree predominantly located in the high country of New Zealand.

Millions of dollars are spent on controlling their spread.

Mr Adam said I Am Hope was chosen as it was a charity giving young people the help and tools to be resilient in today’s world.

He encouraged people to visit the Givealittle page when it was established and donate.

“I think it’ll be great for people to feel they have done a good thing at Christmas time .. we love the smell of a pine in our living room.

“You’ll be contributing to dealing with New Zealand’s No1 pest and donating to a good cause.”

Next year, if demand was high, the company hoped to take the initiative to Otago and involve its Mosgiel site.

Those interested in buying a tree could visit High Country Contracting’s Facebook page.