Post & Mail photo / Nicole Ott
Austin Nix (left), 3, and Jackson Smith, 8, of Big Lake, went with their grandparents to Devilâ€™s 40 Christmas tree farm in Churubusco. Parched ground (in the background) caused the farm to lose 2,000 trees in the summer of 2012â€™s drought.
CHURUBUSCO â€” While much of the area has forgotten about the summerâ€™s drought, a local tree farm is still feeling the heat.
Devilâ€™s 40 Tree Farm, owned by Art and Jacqueline Tilbury of Churubusco, lost approximately 2,000 Douglas-Fir trees to the record-breaking temperatures in summer 2012.
With the 7-year-old trees priced between $45 and $75, the farm has lost upwards of $150,000. The Tilburys arenâ€™t new to the business, as Jacqueline said the farm has been around for more than 35 years.
Devilâ€™s 40 isnâ€™t the only tree farm in Indiana that has suffered this year. A farm in Bloomington lost 10 percent of its 45-acre farm.
Purdueâ€™s Extension Service said Indianaâ€™s climate change is altering many growing zones, pushing certain Christmas tree species out of the area. This season marks the Tilburyâ€™s final year in the business â€” not due to the weather, but for personal reasons.
The couple is retiring from its successful business that, according to Jacqueline, has hauled in more customers each season. The Tilburyâ€™s arenâ€™t the only tree farm in the area to shut down â€” the 2013 season will also be the last for the Pines of Leo, near Auburn.
For a more in depth look at this story, see the Dec. 11 issue of The Post and Mail. Don't have a subscription? Call (260) 244-5153 or subscribe to our e-edition. For breaking news, sports updates and additional coverage, bookmark the homepage and find us on facebook.