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Pittsburg Christmas Tree Farm affected by Drought - KOAM TV 7

Pittsburg Christmas Tree Farm affected by Drought

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As the holiday season begins so do the traditions. But for many, the tradition of cutting down the Christmas tree was axed not because of the grinch, but rather mother nature.

Steve and Mary Gaardner made the trip from Joplin to Bowen's Christmas Tree Farm in Pittsburg intending to cut down a Christmas tree, something the farm has offered for 28 years. But not this year.

"We always go out and find a tree farm we can walk around a little bit look at the trees and cut the trees down. These are good looking trees but it is a fun experience I guess if we had our kids with us today we would have found someplace to cut them down because they love doing that" says Steve & Mary Gaardner.

But there are very few trees in the field that could be cut.

This has grown since the last rain a month ago this tree could probably be sold today but we decided not to sell any of them. Jim Bowen is the owner of the tree farm.

He says the drought has killed more than 400 trees that were planted in the spring and effected the height of hundreds more..

"We haven't had any real growth out of the trees that we had out here in the field that we planted grew couple of inches in the last 2 years so we are going to have to go through and shape those all up and start them over" says Bowen.

Bowen says these trees should be around 24 inches tall. If the lack of rain continues, it would take up to 8 years for some of these trees to reach the 6 to 7 ft mark. But trying to be optimistic Bowen hopes it will be the last time he has to ship in more than 500 trees from places like Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Though the process of picking out their tree was a little different this year the Gaardners hope to come back again next year saw in hand.

The Bowen's say on the bright side of bringing in trees from out of state,  they are able to offer a wider variety of trees they are not able to grow in the warm Kansas climate.

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