Fred Frank is getting ready for the holiday rush.
“Had we had a normal rainfall, this might be just a little taller,” said Frank while looking at one of the Christmas trees on his farm.
Frank is a Central Coast native and operates Hidden Springs Tree Farm in Atascadero.
At 75 years strong, Frank is concerned that the future of his family business is in jeopardy because of the drought - a business that has been in his family for generations.
“We've been struggling to make sure that we don't lose trees and we're not getting quite the growth that we'd like to have.”
Still holding on to the hope of passing the company down to his daughter, Franks says this year “we’re scraping by.”
Hidden Springs Tree Farm is a 10-acre forest full of pine trees. Each year, during the holiday season they sale between 600 to 800 trees. Frank says that is a range they are not sure they will meet this year because “we have had three years of drought.”
To water the pine trees, Frank uses a pump that is connected to a nearly empty pond behind his Christmas tree farm. That water is fed through a drip line and overhead system to reach the trees.
Frank tells KCOY/KKFX that he “prefer(s) to use an overhead more to get the water into the soil for the larger trees but we just don't have water to do it.”
Hidden Springs Tree Farm expects to see a slight decrease in sales this year, but is hoping Mother Nature will step in before Thanksgiving to help.