Drought affects Christmas tree sales - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Drought affects Christmas tree sales

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Many people got into the holiday spirit by picking out the family Christmas tree this weekend.

One tree shop said business has never been better while the owner of a local tree farm tells us his business has just about dried up.

Tim Wassom, who owns Tannebaum Tree Farm, said "on some of the fields, where I've planted trees, I have planted them several times. I've lost on some varieties, 90 percent of the trees I've planted."

Wassom said the drought destroyed much of his hard work but he has a backup plan.

"What I've been doing now is, I'm potting up a lot of trees I get in. I'm growing them in pots and keeping them in a nursery setting until I feel we have enough adequate soil moisture, and then I will put them in the ground," Wassom said.

The shortage of trees here in South Dakota means some stores have to look elsewhere to keep the family tradition of picking out a tree.

Jerry Baumgartner, Baumgartner's Trees and Landscaping, said "I've been buying in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and North Carolina.  I am exclusively this year North Carolina because they've had an abundance of rain there and of course Sandy there helped them besides."

Baumgartner looked for the best trees for his customers.

"If I was going to have a problem with trees, that means my customers are going to be mad. I'm going to be unhappy because they're bringing them back, and I don't want that. So I made sure they were in an area where they had an abundance of moisture," Baumgartner said.

Wassom said he misses not being part of his customers annual holiday tradition.

"The tree is important but it's the family that's around the tree that's the most important," Wassom said.

Both Wassom and Baumgartner said they look forward to seeing their customers every year.

Many who came as kids, now come back as adults with their own children in tow.

Baumgartner says he was born to sell Christmas trees.  His name translated in German means "tree grower."

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