Christmas tree farms open for season, drought impacting industry
MAIZE, Kan. (KWCH) - As the holiday season kicks off, the extended drought is impacting a celebration staple. The day after Thanksgiving in Maize, Prairie Pines Christmas Tree Farm opened its doors for guests eager to start setting up their holiday décor.
“Opening day is always a lot of fun, it’s every chaotic,” said Prairie Pines Christmas Tree Farm Owner Kip Scott before as business began Friday. “We were here until about midnight [Thursday] night. Still working just to try to get it open.”
For customers like Calvin Cox, a real tree is the only way to go.
“It makes the house smell nice, it brings more holiday spirit,” he said.
Scott said many feel the same way.
“We expect to sell probably around 400 trees today, on this opening day,” he said Friday.
Though real Christmas trees are popular, they may not be the norm in a few years due to the drought impacting much of the U.S.
“We planted a couple thousand trees in the spring. We’ve probably lost about 75% of them due to the drought,” Scott said.
If drought conditions don’t improve, the impact could linger for years.
“In another five to 10 years, you’re going to notice that a lot of the trees that were planted in 2022 have died,” Scott said.
But for his business, he said he’s not worried.
“We’ve been here so long, we feel the community really supports us,” Scott said.
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