2012 Christmas tree harvest not hurt by drought

November 22, 2012 (CHICAGO)

"The drought came later in the spring and we got the new growth before it hardened off -- and the trees are looking fantastic," Charlie Ide said.

Most Christmas trees sold in the Chicago area were grown in northern Wisconsin and Michigan where there has been little or no drought. While there is a rainfall shortage of 9 to 12.5 inches this year in northern Illinois in places like Green Bay and Marquette there is actually a slight moisture surplus so far in 2012.

The ample supply of trees should help keep prices stable.

"As far as price, I think it's about right on par with last year. In fact, here, we're staying with the same prices we've had for six years," said Ide.

The youngest trees were virtually wiped out by the on-going drought.

"We have about 100% loss for what was planted this year and last year," Ides said.

The good news is that unless the drought persists for the next year or longer future tree prices should not be affected.

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