Family-owned business unaffected by Christmas tree shortages

KITTS HILL, Ohio (WSAZ) – It’s that time of year when most families get ready to shop for the holidays. It’s a timeless tradition, take your family out to pick Christmas trees.

For 45 years, Keith Dickess and his family have worked to ensure that their farm in Kitts Hill is always green.

Keith’s father started the Dickess Christmas tree farm in 1976.

“My father started planting the first trees in 1969, but we had to wait seven years before they reached a height suitable for the public,” says Dickess. “The Christmas tree is the centerpiece of a family’s home.”

On a national scale, some farmers say Christmas trees will be scarcer this year as nationwide shortages linked to the recession a decade ago continue.

Through the ice storm, Dickess worried about losing some trees, but his farm stocked up and prepared for the upcoming holiday season.

“The lack of a Christmas tree does not affect us. I planted more than three thousand trees a year. Over the years, that rotation has kept us a lot of trees,” said Dickess.

To meet the growing demand over the years, Dickess decided to plant many different species of trees. In the spring of 2022, he will plant 1,000 more trees.

Dickess even added more species, yielding a popular favorite for allergy sufferers: the Leyland cypress.

With the upcoming weekend being one of the busiest, Dickess says it brings joy to seeing families return each year.

“The return of families, year after year, maybe three or four generations strong, see them with a smile on their return. We wanted to catch up year after year and see what they did,” said Dickess.

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