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Tree buyers pine for Xmas normality

Flagstaff Team

Heaven-scent… Lexi Edwards, 14, left, and sister Mia, 17, run one of the many Christmas-tree pop-ups bringing a festive look – and aroma – to various spots around the North Shore this month.

Christmas tree sellers on the streets of Milford and Forrest Hill are catching an extra whiff of seasonal spirit in the air this year.

Dexter Brick, 20, and Ben Bowden, 21, at Sam and Pete’s Christmas Trees on Kitchener Rd, say there’s a hankering for the usual traditions after months of Covid-19 lockdowns. “And Christmas trees are part of that,” Dexter said.

Hardy annual… Ben Bowden (left) and Dexter Brick run a 25-year-old operation

Ben said it was nice to give people a sense of returning normality. “Christmas is something that everyone is latching onto this year.”

The Sam and Pete’s operation has been passed down through several sets of hands over 25 years, starting with the original duo who passed it on to their sister, who gave it to her neighbours – Dexter’s siblings.

This year Dexter and Ben are raising mon- ey towards university expenses.

On Inga Rd, opposite the Milford Marina, Charlie and Dustin Henderson and Noah Barr have sold more trees than they expected to. The customers had all been super-friendly, Noah, 15, said.

Branch managers… Dustin Henderson, 12, brother Charlie, 14, and Noah Barr, 15, on Inga Rd

This was 14-year-old Charlie’s third year selling trees. “We first did it fundraising so I could go to Australia to play rugby,” he said. The trees are priced according to size and shape. The boys’ mothers looked after the stall when they had school exams.

The Edwards sisters, Lexi, 14, and Mia, 17, sell trees on Forrest Hill Rd, raising money for future university studies.

Mia doesn’t know what she’s studying yet but Lexi already has her eyes set on veterinary medicine.

The pair will keep selling and delivering trees until Christmas Eve. They also dispose of the trees in January.

“I love the smell of them,” Lexi said. “And it just brings joy.”

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