Indiana Christmas trees feel drought’s impact, but not this year

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The drought of 2012 could have a profound impact on Indiana’s Christmas tree production, but not this year, according to tree farmers who spoke with Fox59 News.

Tom Dull, who has owned Dull’s Tree Farm in Thorntown, Ind., for 28 years, said the drought caused serious losses of tree crops planted this spring and spring 2011.

“You can’t plan ahead for a bad year. You go in with the anticipation that every year’s going to be a good one,” Dull said. “(But) nothing alive grows without water.”

Dull grows his trees for eight years before he puts them up for sale. Fortunately, the more mature trees had deep enough roots to survive the drought, he said.

Many of the younger trees, though, died off.

“The market this year shouldn’t really be affected by the drought,” Dull said. “The market that’s really going to be affected is the year that these trees that we planted this spring should be coming to market, which would be seven to eight years from now. So seven to eight years from now, I’m going to have a shortage of trees.”

To prevent a shortage, Dull said he and other tree farmers could just sell them younger and, therefore, shorter. Either way, the supply will be lower down the road.

This year’s prices have not been affected, he said.

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