Alive Christmas Trees


WWOOF Australia Hosts, Brian and Annette Hampton have a small boutique potted Christmas tree farm located on a small lakeside acreage in the beautiful Atherton Tableland in QLD. The couple now in their 70s had been in and out of retirement for 30 years but the thought of people growing Christmas trees for five years then using it for 10 days and burning it, just didn’t appeal to them. Brian and Annette began their adventure of Alive Christmas Tree Farm as a hobby, growing their Christmas trees organically and learning a lot from YouTube videos. They grew some Caribbean Pine which enabled them to get a little cash flow, and experimented with pine Australiana and Norway Spruce seeds, but being situated at 800 meters elevation with high rainfall, they found they were far better off sticking with Norfolk pine, as hardy as they come, surviving indoors and best known as Australia’s Christmas tree.


Underestimating the market for potted Christmas trees, Brian and Annette’s hobby soon got a little out of hand and that’s when they discovered WWOOF Australia. Relatively new to WWOOF Australia, joining in February 2023 they have had continuous WWOOFers with 23 in total -13 Japanese,  1 Swiss,  4 French, 1 Chinese, 1 Australian, 1 UK, and 2 German, all still connected via their Facebook messenger group. Most WWOOFers stay from 2 weeks to a month, some longer but Brian says the hardest part is to say goodbye to them, stating WWOOFers have taught me as much as I teach them.


Over the last year Brian and Annette have managed to plant 1000 potted trees in the ground with the help of their WWOOFers. WWOOFers helping to strike seedlings, repot them into bags, get the soil prepared with fertilisation, weeding and mulching.  Now the trees have been planted their task is to maintain the trees before pulling them out in July/August for repotting and having them ready for Christmas & selling at local markets, which they had a ball doing with WWOOFers last year.


Also over the year they have completed a system of irrigation for all of the trees fed from over 30,000  litres of rain water held in a number of portable tanks caught from the house and out buildings.  The whole farm irrigation operation is now independent of town water, also consistent with their chemical free aims.


Brian says typically a day would involve a good stretch, yawn and coffee followed by a chat about the days tasks to be done, he says in this business you must be flexible due to insects, rain, hot dry periods and if the grass needs mowing. We have to work to the conditions, If it’s too hot we can work under shelter or early in the morning and later in the afternoon.


The Stay at Alive Christmas Tree Farm is a Honeymoon suite with ensuite and kitchenette or a Caravan and meals are shared.  WWOOFers have their own privacy and can do their own thing, during a WWOOFers a free time they can canoe or kayak or visit Lake Barrine, Crater Lake National Park or close by are Malanda Falls, and the town of Yungaburra. Annette does Zumba daily which the WWOOFers can join in too.


Brian and Annette have a lot of admiration for their WWOOFers, speaking of one young WWOOFer who travelled through warzones, lost her passport, to find herself WWOOFing at their property. They see the youth of today as resilient and hold much respect for them and try to give this back to them by treating WWOOFers like family, which is evident when their WWOOFers parents came to Australia to experience it for themselves. Brian and Annettes only advise for WWOOFers is to leave the designer clothes at home.



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