Weather playing heck with Christmas trees

Christmas tree hunting may be a little more difficult this year.
Published: Sep. 16, 2023 at 9:53 PM CDT
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PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) -Christmas may be some 100 days away.

But in a couple of months. some families may have trouble finding the perfect tree.

Tree hunting may be a little more difficult this year.

“It’s been hot,” said Robert Smith, co-owner of Smith’s Christmas Tree Farm. “It’s been cold. It’s been dry. It’s been wet. So, we have had all types of weather here on the farm.”

This year’s up-and-down weather pattern has affected Christmas trees ahead of the most wonderful ti9me of the year.

“I’ve talked to several people throughout the association, and they all have agreed that it’s just a matter of the trees being shocked so many different times by so much different types of weather situations,” Smith said. “They’ve had to adjust, and they have not been able to adjust like they normally would throughout the year.”

While the lack of rain has caused trees to wither, the freeze this past spring also threw a wrench into the normal growth cycle.

“The cold weather burnt the trees, the tips of them,” Smith said. “The temperature hadn’t been cold enough to go dormant like they normally do, so they were still growing.

“So, the new growth got burnt pretty bad during the cold weather.”

There is still time for the 6- to 8-foot trees to bounce back.

Recovery becomes more difficult for bigger sizes.

“We have some really big ones that are 16 (feet), 18 (feet),” Smith said. “They are dying. About half of them are dying.”

Lea Barkley of Barkley Farms, LLC, of Tylertown, said she was preparing for her normal rollout later this year.

But other farms, Barkley said. are not so lucky.

“I do know there’s a couple of farms that are really close to us,” Barkley said. “I talked to one last week, and he has his doubts on whether he will be able to open.”

Despite the harsh weather, Smith said he was looking on the brighter side.

“If we could get some rain, I think all of this would stop, and the trees could go ahead and start greening up again,” Smith said.

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