Pest management company donating unwanted pine trees to mental health charity

A pest management company is selling their unwanted pine trees to make a difference this Christmas.

High Country Contracting usually leaves their wilding pine trees to rot away, but this year, they decided to donate their pine trees to a charitable cause.

"Generally we cut these trees down and they get left to rot away and they become part of the environment," managing director Khan Adam told Newshub.

"A lot of these pine trees look like good christmas trees and these guys have come up with a bit of a plan to sell them off to charity."

The company has been granted an exemption to sell the trees and all proceeds will go to I Am Hope - a youth and community focussed mental health charity.

One hundred and fifty have already been sold and you can also donate a tree to a family in need.

"While we are dealing with New Zealand's number one pest problem, we are also dealing with the number one health issue at the same time," Adam said.

In September, the government allocated $100 million to eradicate wilding pines. It couldn't have come soon enough for a landscape littered with the invasive pests.

In October, the wilding pines added fuel to the Lake Ohau fire that swept through 5040 hectares and destroyed 48 homes.

"We're covering a really big landscape here in the McKenzie basin," Adam said.

"It'd be tens of thousands of hectares on an annual basis."

The concept is the same. So is the smell. They also look the same.

"These are wilding pine trees. They're not the prettiest looking Christmas tree but I think if people can look at these trees in the corner of their lounge and think they're not perfect but not every human is perfect - we're all dealing with our issues as well," Adam said.

It's a Christmas tree with character, making a difference to New Zealand's pest problem - and more importantly - people.