That’s Christmas Tree Ken’s hard upper lip reaction to losing at least half of his bountiful crop to this year’s heavy rains.
Since 1987, a retired farmer and his wife have managed a 12-hectare pine tree farm in Bywong, about 29 kilometers from the Civic. induced nightmares.
“Most of the crops are either submerged or submerged because the land is flooded with water,” says Ken Tan.
“The roots can’t breathe and die, the leaves start turning brown on the lower branches and grow upward until the whole tree dies. Imagine putting the plant in a tank for six months. Well. Absent.”
Hundreds of results Pine radiata A tree that has been carefully maintained for several years and is no longer available for sale to the public. Keng says losses of this magnitude are greater than his 2006 drought losses.
“Not enough rain is bad, too much rain is bad, but too much rain is worse,” he says.
“Droughts usually only kill new trees, but too much rain kills all ages and we suffer greater losses. It also takes a year or more to recover.
“We put a lot of effort into old trees and prune them carefully each year, so losing them this year is hard.”
Keng studied forestry at university and received a scholarship at CSIRO. At CSIRO he worked for a year before he moved to public service and got a job in computing and information technology.
But the interest in trees remained with him. So he and his wife purchased land near Gundagai to start his Christmas tree plantation using pine trees imported from California.
“But being away from Canberra made the logistics very difficult,” he says.
“There were no mobile phones in those days, so it was difficult to deliver.”
They bought their current farm near Bywong in 1987 and started from scratch again. A retired civil servant, Ken’s main job is to grow his well-shaped Christmas tree.
The average time from seed to someone’s living room is about five years, so it’s not an overnight project. It also depends on the soil quality.
“Maybe in New Zealand it’s only three years.”
Trees of all sizes are lined up in rows like an orchard, and people walk through it and pick the tree of their choice. Keng provides saws and deliveries as needed.
“It’s structured around a family situation, allowing parents and children to enjoy the day walking around the farm and picking trees to take home,” he says.
This year there is a fixed price of $80 per tree, regardless of size.
“If you want knee height, you can go up to 3.2 meters. People who live in apartments may want a tabletop size, but those with large mansions may want a larger one.” I choose.”
Christmas Tree Ken is open daily from 9am to 6pm, while supplies last. Please contact Kentan on 0402 246 436 to confirm.
Original article published in Riotact by James Coleman.