Oh! Christmas trees

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 14, 2007

Surely, there is no time more filled with traditions than the Christmas season. Families get together for special holiday meals, church caroling outings and gift-giving parties.

For many in our area, one of those important traditions is taking the long 10-mile trek out Ohio 141 to the K. Dickess Christmas Tree Farm to pick out their live Christmas tree.

It’s a family event that for many has been going on for three generations since Keith Dickess started selling the trees from his hilltop acreage in 1979.

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Nowadays the operation is run by Dickess’ son, also named Keith, who, like his customers, understands the value of traditions.

“People come here for a reason,” the younger Dickess said. “It is the experience.”

While Dickess’ customers flock to the farm starting in early November, creating Christmas tree magic is a 10-month operation beginning for Dickess in February when he starts the first insect spraying. Then, around the last week in March, Dickess will put out about 2,000 2-foot seedlings that may take up to a decade before they are ready to be hauled away to adorn someone’s living room.

That is usually when they reach the height of 9 feet, currently the most popular size of tree, Dickess said.

But before the tree heads for its new home, it makes an important stop at the tree shaker, which removes all dead needles.

This is the 31st year for the tree farm located at 2888 County Road 61. Hours are 9 to 5 p.m. seven days a week.

“But we will stay open as long as there are customers,” Dickess said. “We will cut trees on Christmas Eve.”