Despite drought, Christmas tree farms plan for upcoming season

By Tobie Blanchard  / LSU AgCenter

Like most agricultural crops in Louisiana, Christmas tree farms have been impacted by the state’s prolonged drought. Good management techniques on farms have kept mature trees from drying up, said Valerie West, an LSU AgCenter forestry agent in northwest Louisiana.

She said consumers can still expect to see real trees this holiday season.

West serves as the LSU AgCenter extension representative to the Southern Christmas Tree Association Board of Directors. She said farms are reporting damage to approximately 10% of their crop. She has seen some panic on social media about the outlook for real trees this year after one farm announced it wouldn’t open this upcoming season.

“In spite of what you may have seen recently on social media, the majority of Christmas tree farms in Louisiana are planning to open as usual for the holiday season,” West said.

Christmas tree producers, like other farmers, have their share of yearly trials and tribulations growing their crop, she said. The past two years, producers have experienced issues with wet, cold springs and hot, dry summers. Hurricanes also can take a toll on farms, but even with setbacks, farmers will be able to supply the season.

“Our tree farmers and their families are working hard to make sure you and your family have a wonderful experience at their tree farms,” she said.

West recommended reaching out to your local farm to find out when they plan to open. If the farm you usually go to is closed this season, other farms are likely available in your area.

“Before you run out and grab an imported plastic tree from the box store, consider going to one of our many Louisiana Christmas tree farms and buying a real tree,” she said. “Farms will be open. They will have trees and they will be ready to make your holiday come to life.”

For a list of Christmas tree growers near you, go to https://realchristmastreeboard.com/find-a-retailer/ for an interactive search of your area.

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