Author Archives: Rudolph

Drought puts stress on Christmas tree crop

NBC – It’s hard to think about Christmas at this time of year, but some Christmas tree farmers in Texas are doing just that. They’re dealing with extremely hot and dry conditions and hoping it’s not already to late to have a happy holiday season.

Nick Wiggins has been growing Christmas trees at plantation pines in Tyler for over 20 years. But as the oaks, elms, and even the grass around his Christmas trees wither away in the sun, the Christmas trees themselves, so far, are just fine.

Nick says, “They have put out a little tender growth. And if you look at em, they’ve got some nice new tender growth shooting out on them. And that’s what we would normally be trimming, but they just kind of put out and holding on they’re just kind of hanging in there.”

Forester Jason Ellis with the Texas Forest Service says other types of trees aren’t so lucky, many are dying.

Jason Ellis of the Texas Forest Service says, “You’ve seen up in the canopies of these trees, you’ve seen some limbs that are just kind of drying up and breaking off that’s the tree kind of cutting off resources to that limb no longer using it.”

Ellis says Christmas trees are hanging on because they have already made it through their first year.

Jason says, “The first year is critical – bar-none. And this year’s been so bad that a lot of these folks that have spent that money and planted..they’re just gonna have to start over.”

So even though Wiggins Christmas trees are all ready to have gifts underneath them this holiday, one thing is certain.

Nick says, “Yes, we could definitely use some rain it’s just miserable; it’s just miserable.”

Ellis also says that as far as the trees in your backyard go, if they look like they’re struggling, don’t count them dead just yet.

They may just be hibernating early and conserving their resources.