Drought, winter storms can impact Christmas tree crops

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Thanksgiving may be this week, but plenty of people already have Christmas on their mind.

Tree lots and farms opened their doors this weekend to shoppers looking for the perfect tree.

“We’re still able to get our teenagers to come out here with us because it’s such a family tradition,” said shopper Gretchen Van Vliet.

Sales started at Jordan Lake Christmas Tree Farm this weekend.

“Because Thanksgiving’s a little later, we’re seeing it a little busier than normal,” said Byron May, co-owner of Jordan Lake Christmas Tree Farm.

It’s the business’ 25th anniversary. They’ve grown into what they proudly call a full experience.

“We try to offer a little bit of everything,” said Byron May.

That means gifts, food, drinks, activities, wreaths and of course, a full variety of trees.

“I think people like the experience, otherwise you go to the mountains to cut a tree, but here you can drive 20 to 30 minutes out of a town and get a similar experience,” said May.

Part of providing that experience is tracking the weather.

Many young trees couldn’t survive this year’s dry spell.

“We’ve lost whole fields of little seedlings just because of the lack of rain,” said Diana May, co-owner of Jordan Lake Christmas Tree Farm.

They’re also still salvaging trees affected by last winter’s ice storm.

“It’s mother nature, you kind of have to deal with what it gives you,” said Diana May.

They prepare on the front end for not all trees to make it each year.

If you plan to buy a tree, they recommend shopping in the morning or later afternoon to beat the crowds.

Thanksgiving is typically the busiest weekend.

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