"You planted it six years ago and you're not gonna see any income off of that. So you're just puttin' money in, puttin' money in... and, yeah, it's pretty frustrating when Mother Nature doesn't really cooperate," says Johnson, owner of Bridgestone Christmas Tree Farm.
He says evergreens are usually drought resistant but this year's heat was too strong for a few trees on his farm. "We have approximately about 3-thousand in the ground starting in the spring. Now, we did lose quite a few of the smaller ones," he says.
Johnson estimates he lost about 500 christmas trees on his 40-acre farm....especially his smallest and newest trees. He says he took extra measures and spent hundreds of extra dollars to save his biggest trees, so he could sell them this year. "We did lose a couple of the big ones. That can be expected. I did start irrgating those overhead at night just to try to save them and it seemed to work," Johnson says.
Big retailers who sell live christmas trees aren't seeing much of a loss either. "So far we've been seeing slow sales in the real trees just because it's probably a little bit early... but it should pick up after Thanksgiving," says Joel Wall, Lowes Sales Associate.
They say they're more artificial trees right now because it's still more than a month before christmas. "Pretty much because people who shop early in the season are looking to buy the artificial trees,"says Wall.
Both retailers and farmers have not seen an increase in their prices this year either. But we're not out of the woods for another 6-10 years.
That is when the youngest trees that died this year would have been full-grown and ready for sale.