Christmas tree farms not affected by summer drought

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One of the most popular activities for families after the Thanksgiving holiday is to buy a Christmas tree from a farm.

It's a Waterman family tradition. They drove more than hour from their Franklin home to Fortville to "officially" start their holiday season. 

"I like bringing the kids out here and letting them find one for themselves," said Jeanetta Waterman. "It's the start of the Christmas season!"

It's a busiest and most wonderful time of year at the Piney Acres Christmas Tree Farm. Owner Rex Zenor said families enjoy picking out a Christmas tree each year "It's the touch and the feel and the smell of it all. It's part of the fun."

With more than 10 variety choices, the Canaan Fir is the most popular at the farm this season.

Unlike other Indiana crops, this year's drought only hurt the tiniest trees, Zenor said.  "It just killed them, but as far as the big ones go, they are fine. Their roots are deeper and they kept that moisture."

Zenor added that there isn't a concern for the future crop.

The key to keeping your tree alive is to make sure your tree has enough water. The stand needs to always be full, every day. A Christmas tree may last up to 2 months.

The cost depends on the size. Average costs are about $10.00 per foot.

As a Christmas Tree producing state, Indiana ranks 11th in the nation with 200 tree farms, according to the UDSA 2007 Ag Census.