Thursday, August 16, 2012

Christmas Tree and Drought

Lots of media stories out there about how drought in some areas are "hurting Christmas trees". Not a lot of understanding how a Christmas tree farm is managed though. Summer weather patterns don't really impact trees harvested later this year. Those are more mature trees with well-established root systems so they're not as susceptible to seasonal weather patterns as are younger trees. Low rain fall, excessive rain fall, early cold snap, bugs, disease...any number of those types of environmental factors could cause a tree to go into dormancy earlier than typical. Regardless, by the time they are harvested around Thanksgiving or later, the environmental conditions on the farm have changed much since summer time anyway. The seedlings farmers planted in the Spring however, can be damaged by excessive or insufficient rain fall. Mortality rates of newly planted seedlings can go up due to weather extremes. This is the risk any farmer faces regardless of the crop being raised. Consumers should not worry about the quality of trees they can find this year no matter what the weather was like in the summer.

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