With the official start to fall tomorrow, area Christmas tree growers are gearing up for their big season. But one was thrown off by Mother Nature the past couple months.
Rick Wyffels tree farm is looking a little bare this year.
“The problem with first year trees is they need periodic rain like every two weeks or so and when you go a month or more or without any rain, they just don’t make it,” says Rick Wyffel, owner of Wyffel Tree Farm.
Rick has planted close to three thousand trees for this Christmas season but thanks to the drought, more than fifth teen hundred. He buys trees when they’re three years old and lets them grow for about six years.
“We’re fighting nature,” says Wyffel.
Whatever tree doesn’t make it, he chops down and burns. Fortunately, the recent rain has helped out.
“What it’s doing is keeping the trees that are in the field, that are already established, maintained, so that’s really helped a lot, that keeps the older trees from dying,” says Wyffel.
Rick says he’s not worries for this Christmas season but for the future.
“The problem is down the road, the tree’s that should have stayed in the ground this year, six years down the road, they won’t be there,” says Wyffel.
And when it comes to preparing for a drought, there’s nothing you can really do.
“People have asked me if I can water the field, it’s almost impossible, I mean it cost more to water the field then to try to deal with it,” says Wyffel.
All Wyffel can do is hope.
“Hope it rains some more,” says Wyffel.
Wyffel’s Tree Farm will not be raising their prices this year. They start selling their trees the day after Thanksgiving.