Members of the Indiana Christmas Tree Growers Association were at the statehouse Monday delivering trees for the rotunda, and the offices of Governor Mitch Daniels and Lieutenant Governor Becky Skillman. They also talked about the industry’s importance to the state.
John Hensler is the owner of one of Indiana’s 200 Christmas tree farms, Hensler Nursery in Starke County. All of the live trees at the Indiana statehouse came from his nursery. Hensler says the state’s industry wholesales and exports many of its Christmas trees, but a growing number are now purchased commercially too.
“We’re doing a lot of retail business now and we’ve had a very strong season. We’re up in the Chicagoland area,” Hensler said. “We’re doing a lot of business up there so we’re very pleased with the help that we get through Indiana agritourism.”
According to the Indiana Christmas Tree Growers Association, Hoosier Christmas tree sales total about 15 million dollars. Data from the 2007 USDA Agriculture Census, indicates about two hundred thousand Indiana Christmas trees are sold nationwide each year.