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Drought Impacts Christmas Tree Sales

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The extreme summer heat is now months behind us, but the painful effects of the drought still linger into the winter months.

With the holiday season now upon us, you may notice a few changes when you go to pick out this year’s Christmas Tree.      

Tannenbaum Tree Farm in Lennox is among the many tree farms impacted. After seeing fewer trees reach their full potential this year; its owner, Tim Wassom, is making the best of the situation.

“We’ve always made Christmas wreaths. I would say we’re probably focusing more on wreath making now than we have in the past. Before, we were focusing more on selling trees,” says Wassom.

When it comes to buying this year’s Christmas tree, you may find yourself paying a little more than you did last year; but according to Laura Kalfs at Cliff Avenue Greenhouse and Garden Center, that slight increase shouldn’t be enough to set back this year’s sales.

“We’ve noticed that the prices have gone up, but nothing real drastic; and some of that can just be contributed to another year,” says Kalfs.

In fact, that slight increase may actually be worth it. Although the drought may mean a smaller number of trees to sell, there may actually be a positive spin to this.

“What we’ve noticed actually ironically is that our trees are looking phenomenal,” says Kalfs.

Wassom says that’s also the case with this year’s Christmas wreaths.

“The material we use to make wreaths is actually a little thicker looking because it’s not as stretchy. It’s probably denser because of the drought since the growth was shorter,” says Wassom.

But beware, because looks can be deceiving. This year, the greenery comes with a warning. The trees and wreaths have a slightly drier texture. Therefore, the trees may actually be a greater fire danger and will likely require extra attention.

“Your trees are maybe going to be consuming a little more water than they normally do during the Christmas season, so just be sure you’re not letting those dry out in your homes, too,” says Kalfs.  

Whether you’re decorating your home with a  tree, a wreath, or both; keep these things in mind so the drought of 2012 doesn’t ruin your holiday season.

Experts say that because tree production takes place over a number of years, the full effects of this year’s drought may not be felt until years to come.
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