August 3, 2015
Washington-area customers won't be getting the giant Christmas trees they ordered after Superstorm Sandy buried a Maryland farm in more than 2 feet of snow and snapped many of the 15- to 35-foot firs.
Gale-force winds drove wet snow deep into the boughs of firs at Pinetum Christmas Trees in Swanton, high in the Appalachian Mountains. The snow then froze and pulled limbs from their sockets. The owner, Marshall Stacy, says more than 3,000 trees were damaged, resulting in roughly $40,000 in losses.
He has refunded nearly 70 percent of his orders.
Customers will have to look elsewhere, but there are few farms that sell oversized trees. That's because it takes so long to grow them, according to Rick Dungey of the National Christmas Tree Association.
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