Gary Chalk among his Christmas Tree crop now ready to be sold.
Gary Chalk among his Christmas Tree crop now ready to be sold. Chris Ison ROK301116cxmastrees2

VIDEO: Yeppoon couple growing new Christmas tradition

Gary and Cherokee Chalk's Yeppoon home resembles most rural properties; grazing cattle, clucking chickens and towering native trees.

Look a little closer, and you will discover a first for the region.

The husband and wife duo are ready to harvest their first foray into flora with 100 live, pine Christmas trees near ready for the festive season.

The finance workers by week come Christmas tree farmers by the weekend said the idea grew when a friend from New South Wales proposed they grow the pines over dinner.

Two years on, the couple's 25-acre property boasts 100 trees ready for families to take the centrepiece of their festivities from the soil to the home.

Gary said his new-found hobby has been a labour of love after the first "successful failures” were tested by Cyclone Marcia.

"We planted them about this time two years ago, so February they all got wiped out , when I say wiped out they all got flattened and I had to push them all back up,” he said.

"So from there they've just grown and I've put some water on them to keep them going so this is about two years for a harvest.”

Ranging from $25 to $50, the trees stand anywhere from about five to eight feet tall.

Gary said this first run is a bit of an experiment, but given the interest since they shared their venture on Facebook, he expects to continue the process for Christmases to come and has another plot ploughed for next year's harvest.

"We have got cattle here as well so for the experience when the family and kids come out there cattle, we've got chooks here that they like to run around and chase those, hopefully it wont upset the eggs,” he laughed.

Gary is on standby at the weekends to cut the trees, which will last about three to four weeks in one of the plant stands provided.

"Keep in stand, just decorate and enjoy them,” Gary said.

To secure your tree, message Cherokee Chalk on Facebook or contact 0427 090 164.



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