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PIPE CREEK Jim Hingst says his Christmas tree farm received 32 inches of rain this season, which is more than he's seen in the past five year.

It was a good year, obviously.

Of course, to fill the lake you want a big massive rain for the streams and rivers to flow into Medina Lake, he said. For us, in agriculture, you like slow rains for it all to soak in.

Hingst plans to open his Pipe Creek farm for business the day after Thanksgiving about two weeks away.

What started out as a one-tree farm about 22 years ago has since grown to a farm of more than 6,000 trees. This season, Hingst said he expects to sell about 2,000 of them at $6 a foot.

And if customers keep their trees watered and out reach of an air vent or the sun, Hingst said they won t dry out.

If it leaves this gate, it will still be green January the 15th, he said. No fire hazard whatsoever.

Afghan pines are drought tolerant and are grown west of I-35. Hingst grows his trees from seeds in a green house. He said it takes about 4 and a half years to grow a 7-foot tree.

Last year Hingst said he had to tell customers to hose down their trees because the drought left them filthy with dust.

Not this year.

This year we're going to have nice green trees with no dust on them, Hingst said.

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