ROSSVILLE, Ind. (WLFI) - It may seem early to start thinking about your Christmas tree but Christmas tree farmers are concerned about what effect the drought will have on their businesses this winter.
"It's the worst year I've probably had since I've been farming," Cottrell said about the extreme heat and drought.
David Cottrell owns Cottrell's Christmas Tree Farm in Rossville and has 8,000 trees on about 10 acres of land.
After 22 years of running a Christmas tree farm, Cottrell said this is the driest summer he's seen and said the drought has been extremely hard on smaller trees. He said some trees can withstand the dry weather, but others are dying.
"We've probably lost half or three-fourths of our fir trees that we've planted," Cottrell said.
Cottrell said some of those fir trees lost were planted last year. Of his seedlings planted this year, he said he's lost about a quarter of those trees and the effects may not be seen right away.
The trees people can buy are seven to nine years old and Cottrell said he will be working hard next year to make sure the damaged trees from the drought won't leave a tree shortage down the road when the trees that died this year would have been mature and ready to sell.
"We're going to see about ordering some bigger trees for next year and maybe fill in with some bigger seedlings and hope that we don't have a gap of time with a few amount of trees," Cottrell said.
Replacing those seedlings isn't cheap and costs hundreds and sometimes even thousands of dollars.
"It's more than $1000 for us, even on our small farm," Cottrell said.
Cottrell said he will have plenty of trees this Christmas season and said he doesn't expect to increase prices.
Another seasonal crop that is hurting because of the extreme heat and drought are pumpkins.
Perry Kirkham from Wea Creek Orchard said about 10 percent of his pumpkins will survive.
Kirkham said their small pumpkins will be okay,but he may have to bring in about a half ton of larger pumpkins to the orchard this fall.
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