Calaveras County is famous for its big trees, making it a popular destination for locals and visitors to go Christmas tree shopping. But rising temperatures, drought, and wildfires have taken their toll on local tree farms from West Point to Murphys, leaving only one open for business this holiday season.

Anderson Tree Farm, located in Murphys, continues to operate despite the weather conditions. The Enterprise visited the farm and spoke with owner Charlie Anderson and his daughter Ana. Charlie explained that they planted their first trees in 1992 during cooler El Niño years. He added that, up until recently, the trees did not require irrigation and would rely solely on rainfall. 

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Christmas tree farmer Charlie Anderson gives a family and their tree a ride back to their vehicle.

 

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A small pine tree waits to grow into a future Christmas tree at Anderson Tree Farm in Murphys. 

 

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Many of the precut trees at Anderson Tree Farm are brought in from colder climates such as Oregon. 

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Danny is a writer and a Calaveras County native. He studied creative writing and marketing at San Francisco State University and has previously done work as an automotive journalist. He is happy to be back and writing about the local community.

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