Christmas tree farms feeling effects of drought - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Christmas tree farms feeling effects of drought

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Extreme dry conditions during the summer doesn't help many corn and soybean farmers in South Dakota but another farm we don't often think about are Christmas tree farms.

Kate Parkinson and her husband own a few small businesses near the Brandon area, two of them include landscaping and the Emerald Forest Christmas Tree Farm.

Their oldest trees were planted in the early 90s and still look good after 20 years. This year, they say, is the driest they've seen since but most of their trees are still looking good.

The drought will not have major, lasting effects on the trees, it just means more work for Kate.

"I drag a lot of hoses. It's like babysitting or being a dairy farmer. Something you have to keep at. This group of trees was planted in 1991 and if we go through two years of the type of dry we've had this year, I'd bet I'd start losing trees," Kate Parkinson said.

Parkinson is glad she's keeping up with watering once every three weeks. If not, the branches would get dry and the quality along with the life span of each tree, once they're cut down, isn't very good.

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