home & Garden

Danielle McCarthy

You better watch out! Deadly brown snakes invade Aussie Christmas tree farm

You better watch out! Deadly brown snakes invade Aussie Christmas tree farm

Deadly brown snakes are threatening to ruin a family-run Christmas tree farm ahead of the holiday season.

The Court family, owners of Xmas Tree Bob farm, have warned buyers to wear closed-in shoes when looking through the Wolumla property for the perfect tree.

“It has affected the families and kids roaming on the property wanting to tag a tree,” owner Deb Court told the ABC.

Deb has been forced to leave a sign at the entrance of the property so that visitors are immediately warned to “watch out for brown snakes”.

“No sandals or flip flops or open toed shoes,” the sign reads.

Deb took over the family business following her dad’s death in 2016.

The family, whose farm is made visible by brightly coloured tree-shaped cardboard cut-outs along the fence, has been selling pine trees from their five-acre property for nearly a decade.

Despite the knowledge of tree harvesting passed down to her, Deb said the snakes had caught her off guard and had become a “kill-joy”.

Deb explained that she has already had two close encounters with deadly snakes.

When she was getting out of her car one day, she nearly stepped on a brown snake.

She also had one pass through her legs while she was gardening.

Now, Deb always carries a rake with her at all times and greets every potential buyer at the front of her property.

She also never steps outside without wearing closed-in shoes.

“This year, I'm wearing gumboots and [I'm] not in the garden nearly as much.”

Deb also now has the added pressure to leave pre-cut trees at the entrance of the farm so her buyers are as safe as possible.

However, she said her customers had been understanding and that the issue has not yet impacted sales.

“I think Dad is up there laughing his head off at me trying to manage this,” she said. 

Deb believes the snake invasion has been caused by the recent drought.

WIRES Reptile Handling Trainer Gary Pattinson explained that brown snakes are drawn out by hot weather.