Drought, heat take toll on Christmas firs - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Drought, heat take toll on Christmas firs

Indiana Christmas tree growers are rethinking their planting strategies after the summer's heat and drought took a steep toll on one of the holiday's most popular trees.

Greg Fowler lost 10 percent of his Fraser fir crop at his 45-acre Bloomington tree farm. He tells The Herald-Times he won't plant more because the trees don't tolerate Indiana's climate.

Fraser firs are native to high elevations and cooler climates found in the southern Appalachian mountains. Fowler says temperatures above 85 degrees are hard on the trees.

Purdue Extension Service forester Lindsey Purcell says climate change is altering many growing zones and pushing some species out of Indiana.

Fans of the Fraser fir will likely still be able to find them as tree sellers ship them in from cooler areas.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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