Christmas tree shoppers won't need to worry about the affects of the summer drought on Minnesota Grown Christmas trees.
Christmas trees harvested this year were able to withstand the severe drought in much of Minnesota because they're on average 10 years old and have established strong root systems. Minnesota Christmas Tree Association Executive Director Jan Donelson said the drought will affect future crops.
"Many growers lost a substantial number of young trees in 2006 and 2007," said Donelson. She said in addition to the drought, growers have been faced with above average temperatures during crucial growing periods the past 3-4 years. "While this is tough on the trees, it is also a hardship for the growers who must replant seedlings to replace those that don't survive," Donelson said.
Real Christmas trees support the local economy because they are grown by Minnesota farmers who employ seasonal workers and purchase inputs from local businesses. They are also beneficial to the environment. According to the National Christmas Tree Association, real trees fight global warming by converting carbon dioxide into oxygen. For example, one acre of Christmas trees produces the daily oxygen intake for 18 people. Unlike artificial trees which eventually end up in landfills, real Christmas trees are 100% biodegradable.
Local choose-and-cut farms and grower-owner retail lots may be found in the MDA's free online directory at www.minnesotagrown.com or request a free printed copy by calling the Minnesota Grown Answerline at 1-800-657-3878.
Tips for keeping trees fresh throughout the holiday season may be found on the Minnesota Christmas Tree Association web site at www.mncta.com/treecare.html.