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Christmas Trees Wither Under Midwest Drought

Rows of Fraser fir, a popular variety of Christmas tree, grow on Tom Miller Tree Farm in Laurel Springs, North Carolina. (Image credit: Jeffrey H. Owen)

This article was provided by AccuWeather.com.

Corn was not the only crop to suffer due to the dry conditions in the Midwest this year. Christmas tree farmers also lost some of their trees.

The Wyffel Tree Farm in Moline, Ill. was one farm that lost Christmas trees.

In April, Rick and Kathy Wyffel planted 900 Fir trees and 600 Scotch pines on their 13 acre family farm, Rick Wyffel said. None of the trees survived the drought.

"We plant the trees when they are 3-years-old, and the rain they get during the first few months is very important," Wyffel said.

AccuWeather Expert Senior Meteorologist Dale Mohler said, "In Moline, it was really dry in the months of June and July. They got some rain mid-August but the rainfall was still below normal."

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, from June 12 to Sept. 25, 2012 the entire state of Illinois was rated as abnormally dry. During the weeks of July 10 to Aug. 7, 2012 the state was rated to be in a moderate drought.

Wyffel explained that it takes six years for the pine trees to grow large enough to harvest as Christmas trees. There will be plenty of Christmas trees this year at the Wyffel's farm.

"Our trees will be good this year, but there may be issues in the next two or three years," said Wyffel.

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