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Hensler’s cuts annual Statehouse tree

December 12, 2010

From left, Scott Heeren, Joe Hensler, Scott Vieting and (in the bucket) Chris Brown work on securing the Statehouse tree to a large flat bed. Photo by Benjamin Haut

HAMLET — A Christmastime atmosphere will fill the air at the Statehouse Rotunda as a magnificent Concolor Fir is moved into the building, bringing with it the citrusy aroma of the holidays.
This glorious tree, which stands roughly 25 feet tall, is a testament to the skill and care of the growers at Hensler Nursery, Inc. in Hamlet.
In addition to providing the tree for the Statehouse, they will also be presenting Lt. Governor Becky Skill-man with an 8-foot Fraser Fir.
Hensler Nursery has been providing the Statehouse Rotunda with trees for the holidays for more than 15 years, and they have been presenting the Lt. Governor with trees as well for many years.
“It’s an honor for the Indiana Christmas Tree Growers Association to have access to Statehouse officials, to be able to bring real trees into the Capitol building, and to be able to promote a real locally grown Indiana product. It’s really special that they will allow us to do that, and we enjoy the publicity and the contact we have with Indiana officials,” said Hensler President John Hensler.
A crew from Kankakee Valley REMC was also on site to assist Hensler Nursery in cutting down the tree, utilizing two massive bucket trucks to lift the cut tree directly up into the air, and lower it gently onto the trailer for transport without causing any damage to the branches. This tree will then be transported to Indianapolis, where it will be moved into the Rotunda.
“As the Indiana growers bring their trees into the Statehouse, all of the officials that are there, all of the people working in the Statehouse, will be able to smell the tree. This is one that is very fragrant. As it comes in and warms up, that aroma just spreads through the Statehouse. Everyone working in the building will know the trees are there,” said Hensler. “It smells like Christmas.”
Concolor Fir, which is native of the Rocky Mountains, generally does not grow well in the climate of the Midwest with its heat and occasional dryness in the summer. The tree was also planted in a sandy location, which should not have been a good site for the tree to thrive. But the Concolor Fir has grown into a full, symmetrical, dense tree worthy of presentation to the Statehouse Rotunda.
“Our Statehouse is a beautiful, magnificent building, and it’s just an honor to be able to put trees into that building and represent the industry and represent our local community, our county, and northern Indiana,” said Hensler.
Hensler Nursery has been in business since 1953, with roots originating in its bare root seedling nursery business. Today, Hensler Nursery is much more than just a nursery. The staff at Hensler Nursery multitasks between taking care of the nursery, working with the Christmas trees, and preparing for their Fall Fest as well as their Christmas Fest.
During Christmas Fest, teams of horses help to escort visitors to and from the tree fields, and even Santa stops by to visit every weekend. Hensler Nursery offers a picturesque scene with its Christmas atmosphere, bringing the holiday spirit to all its visitors with its holiday decorations, Christmas trees, horse-drawn wagon rides, and the countless other attractions that make for a unique holiday experience.

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