Christmas tree farms have good supply, despite drought

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Each year for the past decade, Cathy Ramirez has come to Bierman's Christmas Tree Farm to pick out the perfect tree.

"Whether the weather is good or bad, it's good to come out and get some fresh air," Ramirez said.

Finding the right one involves sizing up a tree's branches, taking a peek at its trunk and sniffing it, just to make sure it has that perfect pine scent.

"It's got a great shape. I love it. It's perfect," Ramirez declared, as she found the tree she was ready to purchase.

The trees that withstood the drought of 2012 are the older trees at Bierman's.

"This was the worst year for the drought. Normally, we don't have to water trees; they naturally grow," Brian Bierman said.

Bierman, who has owned the tree farm since 2005, said he started watering some of his trees in July.

"We had some large water bills. We have a well here on the farm, but it ran dry by the end of July, and so we were using city water," Bierman said.

Using expensive city water meant there was not enough money to spend on the mature sale trees and new seedlings. That left 800 seedlings, planted in April, to die.

Thankfully, the warm winter weather has helped offset the loss.

"With the weather, it's been great, and it brought more people that might have gone to the closest lot if it was snowing or raining. They actually wandered out here with their families and enjoyed the tree farm this year," Bierman said.

Ramirez said she will be back again next year, especially because she knows where to find a great Christmas tree selection.

"It was tough making a decision, actually. I think he did a really good job this year," Ramirez said.

Bierman sells around 650 to 700 trees every year. This year, he said he is already on track to sell well above those numbers.

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