Christmas Fest Ornament New for 2010

If you’ve been to Hensler’s during Christmas Fest, you know that each weekend Mrs. Claus greets our guests and visits with the children as they enjoy the activities on our farm. She is a favorite of our visitors during the holiday season, and you can’t think of Christmas Fest without also thinking about Mrs. Claus and her warm smile.

Because she’s so beloved, we asked artist Mitch Markovitz to honor her with an original artwork. You can see his painting on many of our banners and flags that decorate the farm.

And now, for Christmas Fest 2010, we are producing a limited run of ornaments featuring Mrs. Claus. This is the first ornament we’ve offered that features her with Mitch’s artwork. We’ll share more details as we draw closer to Christmas Fest!


Life Through the Eyes of a Tree Planter

by Joe Hensler, 3rd Generation

My Grandfather, Stanley Hensler, believed that planting a tree shouldn’t be a selfish act. His passion for planting trees went beyond personal pleasure; he felt it was important to leave something for the next generation.

Planting predominately white pine and tulip poplar seedlings, Grandpa reforested a three-acre opening, within his 40-acre woods, which had once been cleared for cropland. An early pioneer of using white pine for “trainer trees”, Grandpa carried his seedlings in a 5-gallon bucket and hand planted the mix of pines and poplars.

Now, sixty-two years later, I enjoy my annual winter trips to Grandpa’s planting in southern Indiana. My dream has been to mill the tulip poplar, which my Grandpa planted, into lumber to build a pole barn. The pole barn would become my woodworking shop, designed with a tall ceiling to allow for a basketball hoop for my son, and Grandpa Stanley’s Great -Greandson, Hayden.

Grandpa’s tree planting not only ties me to my heritage, but also ties me proudly to the future.


Photos of our Winning State Fair Trees

As we mentioned, we won Grand Champion at the Indiana State Fair Christmas tree competition on Thursday, August 5.

Hensler’s entered two trees: an 8’ White Pine and a 7’ Fraser Fir. The white Pine received a blue ribbon in the pine category. The Fraser Fir, entered in the fir category, also received a blue ribbon. Further, the White Pine was judged to be Grand Champion and the Fraser Fir was named reserve champion.


2010 Grand Champs at the Indiana State Fair

Area Christmas tree farm, Hensler Nursery, won Grand Champion at the Indiana State Fair Christmas tree competition on Thursday, August 5. Hensler’s entered two trees: an 8’ White Pine and a 7’ Fraser Fir. The white Pine received a blue ribbon in the pine category. The Fraser Fir, entered in the fir category, also received a blue ribbon. Further, the White Pine was judged to be Grand Champion and the Fraser Fir was named reserve champion.

Hensler Nursery, Hamlet, IN., operates Christmas Fest, which opens the day after Thanksgiving in Starke County. Nursery Forester, John Scheetz was confident that the trees he brought to Indianapolis would possibly win. According to Scheetz, “I knew the White Pine would place well in competition. The tree was full and being eight feet tall, I knew that it would impress the judge.”

The trees remain on display throughout the fair. Judging occurs in the air-conditioned Ag-Hort building and the trees entered into competition are displayed by the booth area manned by the Indiana Christmas tree growers Association. This is a high traffic area as many people pass by to enter the landscape/architecture exhibit of Ball State University.


Tips for Caring for Potted Trees

Maintaining your Potted Tree Outside

Carefully planning ahead will allow you to enjoy your tree for years to come. Move your tree to its permanent location after the holidays. If the ground is frozen, place the tree in a sheltered area away from direct sunlight and severe wind. Keep watered during the winter. Do not remove from the fiber pot. Plant as early in the Spring as possible.

Inside Conditions are Sensitive for a Live, Potted Tree

Your tree was not meant to be a houseplant. Keep it inside for as little time as possible, but no longer than 7-10 days. Keep your potted tree as cool as possible, away from direct sources of heat. Use Christmas lights sparingly because the heat from them can dry out needles and brown branches.

Tips for Planting a Potted Tree

Slowly remove the tree. Let your potted tree adjust from 70 degrees to the cooler outside temperatures by several days transition time in a cooler garage or porch. Plant your tree outside as soon as possible, planting it in the fiber pot at the same depth as the soil in the pot. Stake the tree to hold it firmly in place. Add mulch around the base and water thoroughly.


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