High Summer Temperatures Affect Christmas Tree Crops

By: Kristin Bauer Email
By: Kristin Bauer Email

"This spring we planted 1,650 trees, and I don't think that we have 100 alive." - Don Spilker, Owner of Pine Ridge Tree Farm

Walking through rows and rows of trees, it's hard not to notice the open spaces.

"This spring we planted 1,650 trees, and I don't think that we have 100 alive," said Don Spilker, Owner of Pine Ridge Tree Farm.

He says last summer's high heat and low moisture took a toll on his crop.

"When it came to about the middle of August, we lost a lot of the big trees. I never watered those trees because we usually found that once a tree is that old, they have a good enough root system that you don't have to water them."

He blames heat, not the drought, for most of the damage.

"We lost them because it was too hot. It just absolutely burnt needles of the tree. And when the needles get burnt to a certain point, it's just like when a fire goes through-- the tree dies."

The farm will only be open three weekends this year, due to low supplies. They're hoping that they will have enough to go around.


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