CORVALLIS, Ore. — Christmas tree farmers in the Midwest are feeling the burn of the drought this year. The dry weather is killing off many of their new seedlings.
Although Oregon isn’t experiencing a drought, recent hot weather and the lack of rain has affected some of the new local Christmas trees planted this year.
Dale Donovan of Donovan’s Tree Farm says every year he loses about ten to 15 percent of his new seedlings to the heat and dry weather.
That, however, is nothing compared to what’s going on in the Midwest. Reports there show farmers are losing anywhere from half to most of their new trees.
Donovan says those farmers should be able to recover, but if the drought continues, he says they could be in danger.
“If you start losing three, four, five years of trees because of drought then you can lose your whole business because of it, so it’s a very scary proposition for our fellow tree growers,” said Donovan’s Tree Farm Owner Dale Donovan.
Donovan says new seedlings need the most water. That’s because those roots only go down about a foot when they’re little.
If there’s no rain, the top of the ground dries out, putting stress on the trees and forcing them to die.
Local Christmas tree farmers say if the severe drought continues in the Midwest for several years, they anticipate it will raise prices and might even boost business for west coast tree farmers, who may end up supplying to fill in the gap.