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KELOLAND.com | Sioux Falls News & Weather, South Dakota News & Weather, Minnesota and Iowa News

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Drought Could Affect Christmas Tree Crops

November 25, 2006, 9:27 PM by News Staff

Live Christmas trees could be more expensive and tougher find in upcoming years with dry conditions reducing Christmas tree crops. 

The owner of a 110-acre tree farm in Clear Lake says this year's mature trees are healthy -- but they were planted three years ago. Since then he lost almost all the trees planted in 2004, 2005 and this year. Christmas trees generally need three years to grow to maturity. 

To keep next year's crop alive, owner Jack Peterson invested in a 60-thousand dollar irrigation system. He also hopes it can speed up the growth of surviving trees to make up for the lost ones. 

Peterson says he's had to raise his prices by a dollar per tree to pay for the irrigation system.

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