Drought killing Christmas trees for this year and beyond - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Drought killing Christmas trees for this year and beyond

This drought has definitely effected produce crops, but it turns out its impacts may be felt long after the summer is over.

Christmas tree farmers are seeing this years evergreens dying off.

"These trees were gorgeous this spring. That one's already dead," says Goebel Farms owner Larry Goebel pointing out some of the trees on his land.

"Right here, is one that's dead. This one over here's still alive. There's three that's dead."

Larry has about 12,000 trees at various stages of growth on his land.

He says he's already had to cut down about 40 to 50 trees that would have been sold this year.

"It's just too dry," he says.

It's not this year that he's worried about.

"We planted 2,500 Mediterranean firs this spring. We planted 2,000 last year and that's all these little trees that are dead," says Larry. 

Larry says these trees would probably be cut down for Christmas five to six years from now.

He's tried different things from letting the weeds grow out to shade the trees, to even watering them with his 4,000 gallon tank truck.

He says it didn't make a difference.

"You can't hardly saturate the ground enough artificially with a tank to really help the roots of the trees out that much," he says.

It's not just the lack of rain that's damaging the trees. He says the intense heat is just as bad.

"It takes seven to ten years to raise a tree, and you get one bad year, you know? What do you do," asks Larry.

The good news is, while the tree selection may be leaner, Larry says he will have trees this season.

Copyright 2012 WFIE. All rights reserved.

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