Variety and Quality Customer Service Abound at Watts Christmas Tree Farm
Photographer / Kelli White
David Watts still remembers knocking on people’s doors as a 6 year old while his dad’s truck, filled with Christmas trees, idled nearby.
More than half a century later, Watts is selling trees during the holiday season, and has moved Watts Christmas Tree Farm to a space on the property of Traders Point Creamery.
Watts has ordered 1,150 trees, sized from tabletop dainty all the way up to 16’ behemoths. His bestseller is the Frasier fir, with strong branches to support ornaments and a silvery underside that makes the tree blue-green in color.
He also offers Scotch pines, concolor fir (also known as white fir), and the traditional Douglas fir. The trees come in trucks from North Carolina and Michigan, and Watts says his most popular size is 8’.
Watts began at a family farm, first moving to an empty lot in the village and then to a spot at Traders Point Creamery.
With a few additions and departures through the decades, Watts still has about 10 seasonal employees whom he considers friends first.
Watts, 61, grew up on a family farm located on Hunt Club Road with his two older sisters Deb and Janice. He graduated from Zionsville High School in 1977 and attended Purdue University for two years, but returned home to help after his father experienced a cancer scare. The trio of siblings lost both parents in the past two decades and sold the farm after being threatened with foreclosure for financial reasons. The farmland was in the family from 1961 until 2010.
Watts says a longtime family friend, Dr. David Brokaw, stepped up to help out financially during this period. He counts Brokaw as one of the many special people that have helped to keep his operation going for so long.
His seasonal workers during tree-selling time are all longtime friends who either worked on the farm when they were kids – like local attorney Scott Quick, who did so when he was just 15 – or simply enjoy helping out.
“These people are like family,” Watts says. “I’ve made these friendships that are lifetime friendships – many memories.”
After the farm sold, Watts and his sister Deb leased a lot from a local business in the village, but a zoning change forced him to reconsider his options. That’s when Watts called up Traders Point Creamery owner Fritz Kunz, who had always said the door was open to use his property if Watts ever needed it.
“He always said I could use his place if it made sense,” Watts says. “I told him, ‘I’m in.’ I’m very thankful for all that.”
Watts counts his blessings in friendships.
“Dr. Brokaw kept the family at the farm until mom passed,” Watts says. “One girl at the creamery has worked with us for 30 years seasonally. It’s amazing how many friends we have.”
Through the years Watts has piled up memories, such as his dad bringing him to a mostly Jewish neighborhood to sell trees before realizing their mistake. Another year, a local doctor chose a 13’ tree and upon delivery, Watts realized she had 9’ ceilings. Her solution, Watts says, was to cut off the tree from the top because the bottom was “too pretty.” The woman’s husband came home and wanted the top of the tree placed directly above the tree on the next story of the home, as he felt it would make for entertainment during house tours around the holidays.
This is the fourth year for Watts Christmas Tree Farm at the creamery. It offers garlands, centerpieces, and of course trees big and small. It’s the oldest tree supplier in the community, and the staff members continue to pride themselves on top-notch service to the generations they have served, as well as those new to the experience.
“Come pick out a tree,” Watts says. “We trim and give a fresh cut, put it through the netting machine, and tie it atop your car or put it in your trunk.”
They’ll even deliver and set up trees in homes, and remove them after the holidays, all while sweeping up tree needles for those weary from merrymaking.
Watts sums up why he continues to operate the business while working at a separate day job.
“They go hand in hand,” he says of the two jobs. “I enjoy it, so I do it. It’s the people, the families who come out, as well as the people I work with. Working hard alongside others is rewarding. What’s more fun than selling Christmas trees?”
Payment can be made with a card reader scanned from 8’ away, with receipts emailed. The staff wears masks, and signs will be posted for customers as reminders for mask wearing. Cash and checks are accepted.
Watts Christmas Tree Farm is located on the Traders Point Creamery grounds at 9101 Moore Road in Zionsville. For more information, call 317-873-2365 and visit watts-christmas-tree-farm-and-sparkle-shop.business.site.