Christmas tree farmers are starting to assess the damage of this year’s drought.
Gary Harman says the survival rate of the trees he planted this year dropped to 20-percent. He usually sees about a 75-percent survival rate.
But Harmon says he does not think this will be the drought that stole Christmas.
He says, “I would say that’s a misnomer, Christmas is still going to happen. We’ve got lots and lots of trees coming on, so I don’t anticipate even seven, eight years from now, even with a bad year like this year… We should have plenty of trees this year for folks in central Iowa.”
Harman says most of his trees are the same size as in previous years because most of the growing happens in April and May. But some of the tree’s needles are turning brown due to the hot dry wind.