Drought may affect Christmas tree picking in the long run

Posted at: 11/23/2012 4:56 PM
Updated at: 11/23/2012 6:10 PM
By: Joangel Concepcion

Families all over the area took to the field Friday to find the perfect Christmas tree.

While many were at the mall doing holiday shopping, other families took advantage of the time off to pick out their Christmas tree. Black Friday is considered the unofficial kick off of Christmas tree picking season. There are several trees to choose from, but drought conditions earlier this year have some local farmers concerned.

For Ellen Segerlin and her family, picking Christmas trees has become a tradition.

Segerlin said, “We've been coming here for probably 15 years to cut trees.”

But in eight to ten years, this field of trees may look a little different.

Richard Wilbert, Wilbert Farms owner, said, “Each year in order for them to take root, you take a chance on having the right conditions and weather was a huge factor this year. We just did not get the rain after we planted.”

Richard Wilbert owns Wilbert Farms. He says drought conditions earlier this year damaged a large amount of seedlings. It's not something he says he's worried about in the immediate future, but it's something he will keep an eye on.

Wilbert said, 'They need a good wet rain after they get planted and unfortunately when we got planted we just did not get the rain.”

There is good news for now, trees that were already full sized were not affected and that's why hundreds of people flocked to the farm to find the perfect Christmas tree.

Cam Johnson said, “You got to get the ones first before they get taken away, so it's why we come out here so early.”

Most of these families have been coming to Wilbert for more than a decade. It's something they hope they can continue to do together despite the effects of weather conditions.

Don Johnson said, “It's a family tradition. We love to get out and take down the tree and maybe see something in the evergreens like a deer or something too.”

It was a successful day for Wilbert Farms. They says they sold hundreds of trees throughout the day and the season is just beginning.