Did The Drought Ruin Christmas Trees?

Although some Christmas trees were victims of this year’s wild weather, Michigan growers say it is unlikely to affect consumers. The Christmas tree casualties were the tiny seedlings planted this year, not the mature trees that have been harvested for this coming Christmas.

One Christmas Tree Farm owner in Oakland Township, MI said he lost 30% to 50% of more than 2,000 seedlings he planted at his farm. The seedling trees were killed after a triple weather whammy; the same warm and cold cycle that killed the fruit crops, plus unusually hot summer days and the drought. He commented that he always plants more than he expects to sell. Weather extremes do result in losses. This is the risk any farmer faces regardless of the crop being raised.Christmas tree

Michigan is third in the U.S. in the number of Christmas trees harvested, and produces more varieties of Christmas trees than any other state. Growers agree that Michigan was certainly impacted by the drought and heat, but want consumers to be confident that the larger trees ready for harvesting were not impacted by the unusual summer’s weather conditions. The older trees have deeper root systems that enable them to survive drought conditions.

Since it takes 8-10 years for a tree to mature to Christmas size, growers will plant additional trees next year to make up for this year’s loss, and in the intervening years, the tree harvests will even out and not leave a gap when the lost trees would have matured.

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