Local News

Despite Drought, No Grinch-Christmas for Tree Farmers

Posted November 18, 2007
Updated November 19, 2007

— The Thanksgiving holiday is days away, but many folks are looking past the turkey and on to the tinsel. Christmas tree farms in the Triangle are already doing business and in spite of the drought, experts said this year's crop is going to be good and green, just like last year.

Christmas trees tagged for sale this year had roots running deep into the ground. The soil was still moist there, so the trees were able to get enough water this summer.

“I can't complain that the weather's hurt me," tree farmer Frank Barick said. "I think that we survived the drought very well."

North Carolina State University Forestry Specialist Jeff Owen said that up to 9 inches of rain fell across the N.C. mountains in late October, replenishing moisture before the tree harvest.

Owen said the rain didn't come in time to save many tree seedlings planted this year, however. That means the future Christmas tree crop may be a little thinner than usual.

As for price, farmers said trees sold in the Triangle should cost about the same as last year. For those interested in a Fraser fir, it grows in the mountains, and gas prices could drive their cost up.

Owen said Fraser fir trees make up about 95 percent of the state's tree crop. He estimated a 6- to 7-foot Fraser fir tree would cost between $40 and $80.

"It's Christmas time. It's alright to splurge a little bit now and then to get what you like," Christmas tree shopper Ian Torr said.

The state is expected to harvest 5.5 million trees that will bring in an estimated $130 million for stores and lots in North Carolina and other states in the Southeast.


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  • xxxxxxxxxxxxx Nov 19, 2007

    Dominion I agree with you too. I have always enjoyed Thanksgiving as a holiday in itself, not as Opening Day of Christmas Season.

  • whatrutalkinabout Nov 19, 2007

    again, Dominion, I agree with you. However, I do feel that the three most important holidays are: Christmas (He was born) Easter (He died and ROSE AGAIN) and Thanksgiving. People are so greedy and stingy these days that the simple reasons for the holidays are overlooked by "gift" giving, and we forget the gifts we are given each and every day! I know there are some who think that sounds "old school", but I was raised to appreciate the little things!! (btw Dominion, I love the NCSU logo also!!)

  • Dominion Nov 19, 2007

    Oh yes! I remember a Charlie Brown Christmas. I also remember when it used to air around the middle of December! And if there is any holiday that absolutely does NOT need to be overlooked in this country, it's Thanksgiving! Everyone should be extremely thankful for what they have just by living in the U.S. Instead, Thanksgiving simply comes and goes without notice. It's simply a day off work for most and the day before "Black Friday." Instead of worrying about fighting crowds and saving a penny or two, take the time to be thankful for the things you have and thank God for the blessings in your life.

  • 2MuchPork4Just1Fork Nov 19, 2007

    The guy in the cube next to mine was jamming out to a heavy metal version of "Oh Come All Ye Faithful" two weeks ago. Seriously.

  • whatrutalkinabout Nov 19, 2007

    AMEN, Dominion!! Poor Pilgrims always get pushed out, and look what they did for the country. Halloween isn't a big deal to me, but I still think it's stupid to have Christmas up before Halloween. AND, the day after Christmas, they will be putting Valentine's cards and candy in the stores!!!!! ANYBODY REMEMBER A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Linus had it together!! We need more people like Linus in the world! :)

  • nandud Nov 19, 2007

    It's always more fun to get out in the hustle and bustle of December, not September. When's the cold weather coming? Who wants to shop when it's 70 degrees?

  • Dominion Nov 19, 2007

    It's so nice to see more rational people other that myself. This Christmas stuff keeps happening earlier every year. It really makes me sick! Just ploys for companies to try and grub more money out of people. It's so ridiculous! Every ounce of the true meaning of Christmas is getting squeezed out more and more.

  • xxxxxxxxxxxxx Nov 19, 2007

    Nandud, I'm with you but we're dreaming. The Christmas carols were playing in the mall in September and the stores were in full Christmas regalia before Halloween.

    I went into a Hallmark store in August and they gleefully announced that they were having their Christmas ornament preview that day. Oh puleeze - it was 100 degrees outside.

    I know they need to boost their sales as early and as much as possible, but hearing Christmas carols in September does not make me want to put on my Santa sweater and go Christmas shopping.

  • alanvankirk Nov 19, 2007

    This just in from the news desk Easley and Meeker demand that all all Christmas trees use 30 percent less water. Those people caught filling the tree stand with water will be put on Santa's naughty list.

  • nandud Nov 19, 2007

    I am very confused. Santa is siting in my recliner and refuses to leave. Can someone help me please? How can I get him to go home. He keeps mumbling something about elves and reindeer.

    Sounds like Santa has had too much eggnog already this year.