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Real or Fake? Indy's newest garden center shares the benefits of purchasing a real Christmas tree

Posted at 9:58 AM, Nov 29, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-29 09:58:08-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Gathering up the family and picking out a tree is a Christmas tradition for many.

Staff at Digs Garden Center say it’s not just something fun to do, there are also benefits to your health and the environment.

“Having the smell of the season. The evergreen smell in the house. It’s been proven to reduce stress levels and to help brighten your mood," Plant specialist Matthew Rodgers said.

Feeling holly jolly is just one of the reasons to purchase a live tree.

Rodgers says for every one tree cut, farmers plant three seedlings.

That ensures continual regeneration and makes the birds and bees happy.

In the seven to eight years it takes to grow and farm, one tree sinks up to a ton of carbon.

“People think cutting down a tree is a negative thing and that we need to be planting more trees and always growing trees, but in fact, if you manage and cultivate these tree farms like many of our Hoosier farmers do, they’ve learned sustainable practices," Rodgers said.

Big or small. Tall or fat.

The one thing the trees at Digs have in common is they’re all sourced right here in the Hoosier state.

“We got some from down south, some from a little further west, but they’re all from Indiana. We’re supporting Hoosiers that way," Rodgers said.

The garden center opened this year and specializes in two kinds of Christmas trees.

  • One is Fraser firs — which is more of a classic look with shorter needles and a thinner, taller body.
  • The other is white pines — which have a longer, softer needle and are a little fatter and bushier.

“Everyone has their traditions and the trees people buy is a family culture thing. The kinda tree that your family bought as a kid, is kinda what you tend to carry the tradition into adulthood," Director of Urban Marketplace at Heath Outdoor Amy Lapka said.
There are limited places inside the I-465 loop you can go to buy landscaping plants for your house or a real Christmas tree.

Digs is filling that need on Indy’s near east side during all four seasons.

“No more driving far away to get your plants," Lapka said.

Their main location in located in the North Mass Ave. District, but they also have a pop-up at the Athenaeum Christkindlmarkt.

Lapka says they sold out their opening weekend and are working to restock for the coming weeks.

“We are a small, local business. Local people. Friendly faces. And we’re here to support this community," Lapka said.

Digs is open seven days a week.

You can check them out at 1302 Columbia Ave.