Dry weather threatens Christmas tree crop

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Some Christmas tree farmers in Texas are dealing with extremely hot and dry conditions and hoping it’s not already too late to have a happy holiday season.

Nick Wiggins has been growing Christmas trees at plantation pines in Tyler for more than 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 fine.

“They have put out a little tender growth. And if you look at them, they’ve got some nice new tender growth shooting out on them,” Wiggins said. ” 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.

“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 said.

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

“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 going to have to start over,” Ellis said.

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

“Yes, we could definitely use some rain, it’s just miserable, it’s just miserable,” Wiggins said.

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.

Copyright 2011 KETK via NBC. All rights reserved.

source:  kplctv.com 

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