Agriculture
8:12 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Drought Causes Challenges For Kansas Christmas Tree Farmers

Credit Mangrove Mike / Flickr--CC

  The Thanksgiving weekend marks the start of Christmas tree sales in many places. And here in Kansas, a lot of the trees sold are grown in the state. But Christmas tree farmers have faced challenges in recent years because of drought conditions.

Eldon Clawson, president of the Kansas Christmas Tree Growers Association, says some growers have had to take steps like adding drip irrigation to keep trees healthy.

“It’s an investment, a major investment, but it’s paid off for their trees,” says Clawson.

He says any negative effects from the drought won't be apparent on Kansas Christmas tree lots for several years.

“If they’re losing seedlings now, it’s probably going to be six, seven years from now when they're going to have a low supply of trees," says Clawson. "We do bring in trees from other parts of the country so that everybody can still get a tree. So that’s probably what will have to happen five, six years from now.”

Clawson was at the governor's residence last week to present the first family with Kansas-grown Christmas trees for Cedar Crest and the governor's office in the Statehouse.