SIOUX FALLS, SD -
While the intended Christmas trees planted this year won't be ready for decorations for years to come, many of those arriving in lots this year have been noticeably affected by this summer's extreme heat and dry conditions.
Every year, Jerry Baumgartner delivers evergreen trees all around town. But before they can make it to your living room, they need to make it to his lot.
"I bought them in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan and North Carolina. I got a variety," Baumgartner said.
But this year, because of the drought, he wasn't sure whether his customers would have as many options.
"Yes, I was, I was very worried. If North Carolina would have been hit, I think I probably would have spread out hoping that one of them would have been better than the other. But I was very fortunate," Baumgartner said.
He's fortunate because although all the trees on his lot are from the same state, customers still have plenty of selection.
"Now I am getting the same variety from North Carolina so really, I got the best you could find," Baumgartner said.
While his lot dodged a bullet when it comes to drought-damaged trees, many in KELOLAND did not. So you will want to be careful when you pick out a tree.
"They probably wouldn't look real bad, although they could. If you get a tree from out of the drought areas, it's already starving for moisture and you cut them then you are going to have a lot dryer tree," Baumgartner said.
Baumgartner says drought-affected trees will need more water and even more care than usual but it shouldn't stop you from enjoying the season. Now, going forward, he's hoping for rain.
"Well yes, I am always concerned. Anytime we get a drought, I think everybody is concerned, everybody that has trees and crops in general," Baumgartner said.
Baumgartner's is open daily and located just off of Madison Street.
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