Mover over Dancer....

John Munro doesn't sell Christmas trees. He is aiming to offer a full yule-time experience.
John Munro doesn't sell Christmas trees. He is aiming to offer a full yule-time experience.

Move over Dancer, Prancer, Donner and Blitzen - Kevin and Trevor are bringing Christmas to Dunedin.

The two deer are recent additions to the team at John Munro's Kaikorai Valley Rd Christmas Tree Farm.

Though red-suited Munro does not  have a white beard or any elven assistants, he has added the deer to give more of a seasonal feel to a business which hits boom time in December.

When Mr Munro worked in forests he would bring his family home a Christmas tree. Inevitably friends and neighbours would ask him to get them one too.

That, and a chance encounter with some people who ran a Christmas tree business in Germany planted the seed.

Mr Munro envisaged families coming into his Christmas tree forest, choosing their tree and having it cut down for them.

He spent the early 1990s breeding and pruning trees to get the right cone shape and fluffy texture necessary for hanging baubles on and sticking an angel on top.

It took four years to get each tree ready for sale, Mr Munro said.

He opened his Christmas tree farm in 1997 and has become a boutique businesses selling several hundred live trees in Dunedin annually. Orders now also come in from elsewhere in the South Island.

A good chunk of  Mr Munro's proceeds from the trees goes into redeveloping the farm - which is where Kevin and Trevor come in.

The deer wandering around  - as well as newly arrived fawns Bambi and Rambo - will add an even more Christmassy, if not a slightly comical, touch to the Kaikorai Valley site, Mr Munro said.

For his next project Mr Munro is planning a tree-lined lane leading to a Santa's grotto. The deer wandering around  outside and a photographer on hand would make it a one-stop Christmas service.

''It's always been my dream that the farm, as in Christmas tree farm, would have a little bit more depth than just having people coming in and buying a tree.''

D Scene