SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky. — There's less than 60 days until Christmas and while you may not be ready to put up your tree just yet, the Christmas tree farms are hard at work for when that time comes.
Werkmeister Christmas tree Farm in Shepherdsville prepares for the most wonderful time of the year 365 days every year.”
“My dad started this as a hobby, something to keep him busy during retirement so I'm just trying to keep the tradition for the families that have been coming here,” Elizabeth Werkmeister Shafer, owner of Werkmeister Christmas tree Farms said.
The 7 acre farm in Shepherdsville sold their first tree in 1989 and has been planting ever since. Shafer says they plant nearly 700 trees a year and the average tree takes anywhere from 9 to 12 years to grow.
“We lose, depending on the year, anywhere between 30 and 50% just due to weather, pests, animals, deer and rabbits like the tops of the trees, the ceilings so they eat those,” Shafer said.
Leaving the second generation Christmas tree farmer dependent on larger farms, bringing in over 250 trees from Michigan.
“For the last 10 years or so we've had to bring in trees to meet the demand of the customers and still last year I sold out of trees in four days, actually I didn't even make it four days,” Shafer said.
But this year Shafer says she's noticing a shortage of trees coming in, Blue Spruce and Black Hills Spruce, two of the trees she typically orders aren’t available.
“One of the trees that I typically get from the farm that I by and cut trees from in Michigan which is normally about a little over half of what I normally bring in, I can't get any of the trees because none of the trees are available, they had a really bad season and there's just nothing available,” Shafer said,
Shafer says she's nervous for the season due to the challenges of the Christmas tree demand.
“I’m nervous because people not understanding that I can only get so many trees and alot of our customers are really understanding as far as customers that have been here for years, they know I'm rebuilding, they know I'm trying to keep the farm alive and that I can only get what I can get,” Shafer said.
Werkmeister Christmas tree Farm suggests shopping early for your Christmas tree as the demand for trees is limited.
Werkmeister Christmas tree Farm is open Friday-Sunday, Thanksgiving weekend 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday and Saturday for first two weeks in December 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.