O Christmas Tree, Why Did The Drought Take Its Toll

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This is my favorite time of the year and anyone who knows me knows I’ve had my tree decorated since right after Halloween. Yes, it’s true. I always say I put it up early for maximum enjoyment as the holiday season always goes by so fast. I realize not everyone is as eager as I am to get their decorations up, but if you still haven’t gotten your tree you might be in for a surprise. Christmas trees grown at least here in Texas have taken a major hit this year due to the ongoing drought. We’ve talked about the drought before in various posts, but this Christmas a lot of you will soon find out just how bad the drought really is.

 Most of Texas is still in an Exceptional Drought, which is the worst drought category. Image: U.S. Drought Monitor

 Trees have been dying due to the lack of rain. Photo: KVUE News

I feel like the drought has put a huge, dark cloud over the State of Texas pretty much the entire year (and with this dark cloud there’s no rain). Our crops and water supply have taken a major hit this year due to the lack of rain, not to the mention the extreme heat we had over the summer with consecutive days (even weeks in some instances) with temperatures in the triple-digits. Even though the weather has cooled down and we’ve seen a little more rain as of lately, this still hasn’t been enough to put even a dent in the current drought situation. And now here we are at Christmas time and some of our favorite things we enjoy might be hard to come by this year.

Photo: WFAA

The drought is expected to impact Christmas trees for years to come as farmers continue to struggle to keep pine tree seedlings alive. Not only is the drought affecting the supply of trees this year but also it has stunted their growth. When you go to pick out a tree this year you may notice that the trees aren’t as full or as tall this year as they have been in the past due to the lack of rainfall. Some farmers are starting to plant extra seeds just in case the drought persists for a long time, which experts believe it will, in order to cover what they may lose now and in the future. The younger crops have been the hardest hit.

This is what a Texas Christmas tree should look like (since everything is bigger here), but this tree was actually grown in the Sunshine State. Isn’t it beautiful? Granted, they aren’t experiencing a drought quite like ours (obviously). Image: Brian Thomson

Some farmers plan to import trees in from other states to meet demand this year. The Texas Christmas Tree Growers Association says that despite the drought many retailers aren’t planning on raising the prices of trees. But not only are trees suffering this Christmas, but also there’s a mistletoe shortage. Mistletoe is typically found/grown right here in the South and this year the supply is lower than in previous years. Also, some of your favorite treats (mine at least) that are made with pecans might be not as plentiful this year. In fact, a report says that Texas produced 40% fewer pecans this year compared to last year. Pecans have also become scarcer due to the drought, so that means you might end up paying a little more to make your favorite treats like pecan brittle or pecan pie. But hey, its worth it, right?

Pecan pie is my favorite! Photo: Wikipedia

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