UNIQUE: Fresh cut Christmas trees on offer in Bay
AN English-born Sue Allison has wonderful memories of waking up to the smell of a freshly cut Christmas tree in her north London home as a child.
And with nowhere on the Fraser Coast to buy a tree, it's this heart-warming link to Christmas that has driven Sue and her husband Dennis to spending the last six years hand-growing over 1000 Christmas trees on a leased property in Wolvi, about 25 minutes from Gympie.
After years of nurturing by the River Heads residents' - and the occasional help from their children, grandchildren and family dog - the trees are ready for the very first harvest, just in time for Christmas.
"Being English, I just love Christmas and I love Christmas trees," Mrs Allison said.
"It brings back very beautiful memories of myself growing up as a child, having a fresh cut Christmas tree.
"The smell of that pine tree when you wake up in the morning just puts a smile on your face and is just such a beautiful thing to have.
"So many people in Queensland don't know what's that like so my husband and I had this crazy thought that we should start growing them … so that's what we've done."
Along with keeping the kangaroos and pigs at bay, the couple's dream wasn't without setbacks.
The first harvest was set for 2018 until a hail storm wiped out several trees last October, leaving the Allison's with the heart-breaking task of knocking them down.
"We couldn't sell them because half the side of some of the trees were all damaged … so it's taken a lot of love and a long time to get them back, but they are looking beautiful.
"So, this will be our first harvest this year."
The response to selling the trees locally had been wonderful so far but, even if it hadn't, Mrs Allison said they would keep on growing anyway.
The two bought a 25-acre property in Childers and planted their first 100 trees two weeks ago.
"It's just something that wasn't available, so we did do it out of a labour of love.
"Whether it does or doesn't take off we are going to continue it."
Fraser Coast residents can pre-order a tree, with collection days being held at the River Heads Community Hall over the next two weekends.
The couple will travel to the property the morning of the collection, cut the necessary number of trees and deliver them fresh that afternoon.
"It has been joyous just having the phone calls with people excited, just saying they are excited to be getting a Christmas trees.
"Every time I look at them, they just make me smile."
Collection days will be held at the River Heads Community Hall, Ariadne St, River Heads on December 14 and 15 from 3-5pm.
A five to six-foot tree is $95. Bookings to Sue and Dennis on 0467 550 007.