After a very difficult growing season, sales of live Christmas trees this holiday season are a reason to celebrate for a Richmond area farmer.
People seeking Norway Spruce or White Pine trees have been coming to Baldwin Farms for about three decades. The Madison County business is one of about 20 in the Kentucky Christmas Tree Association. Margie Baldwin wishes there were 200. “The demand has overgrown our ability to supply and that’s kind of a sad thing,” Baldwin said. “You can grow Christmas trees in Kentucky and I wish more people would.”
While sales have gone well, Baldwin says the growing season for new seedlings this year has been disastrous. She estimates only 50 trees out of 1000 planted earlier this year survived. “Some of the bigger trees can tolerate that sort of drought, but the two droughts that we had this summer, you’d get too much rain and then you would get not enough rain. The inconsistent rain just about killed us in terms of growth this year,” said Baldwin.
Baldwin admits it’s difficult to run a Christmas tree farm operation without having another stream of income including an off-the-farm job.