Mentone Christmas tree farm owner rejoices in recent rainfall

MENTONE, Calif. (KABC) -- A little help from Mother Nature is just what Greenspot Farms in Mentone needed. In a severe drought, this week's rain has been a saving grace.

"We were praying for rain," said Greenspot Farms owner Kim Buoye on the Southland's recent spate of wet weather.

Buoye's tree farm is one of the few where customers can actually cut down their own Christmas trees. But with the severe drought, Buoye's water supply has been cut by 2/3 this year, which means the watering schedule has taken a big hit.

"We were going from 12 hours a week on Christmas trees down to once per month," Buoye said.

Tree farmers say older, more mature trees aren't much of a worry, because they have such a deep root structure. But younger trees planted earlier this year are a big concern.

While it's not much of an issue this year, Buoye is worried about the impact on sales several years down the road.

"This tree should have been twice the size as it is right now," said Buoye, pointing to sapling. "Some of the trees that were that size are dead now."

Redlands resident Ryan Baker has been buying trees here since he was in kindergarten. He says it would be a shame to see an old-fashioned tree farm fall victim to the severe drought.

"This week of rain is nice. I know we need a whole lot more of it the next year to make up for the drought we've been in," Baker said.

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