Christmas Tree Crop Looks Fine Despite Drought

Despite the drought, experts say this year's Christmas tree crop is going to be good and green, just like last year.

Forestry specialist Jeff Owen says the six to nine inches of rain that fell in the mountains in late October replenished moisture before the tree harvest.

But he says the rain didn't come in time to save many tree seedlings planted this year.

The state is expected to harvest 5.5 million trees that will bring in an estimated $130 million for stores and lots in North Carolina and other Southeast states.

Owen says Fraser fir trees make up about 95 percent of the state's tree crop and estimates that a 6-foot to 7-foot tree will cost between $40 and $80.
Owen is a specialist at North Carolina State University and
works with tree growers in the mountains.

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