Christmas trees growing in Norfolk despite a drought
NORFOLK, Neb. -- This drought is drying up all of our trees.
This not only affects our lovely nature, but the people involved in the tree business - Christmas trees.
Terry Aldag is the owner of Aldag Acres Christmas Tree Farm. The length of time it takes a tree to grow, basically takes up the time of your entire childhood.
“For these trees it's a eight to 10 year cycle from the time I plant them until we cut them,” Aldag said. “The first two years you'll lose 50% of what you plant. It all depends on the rains we get. Now I irrigate, which has helped a lot. I irrigate and fertilize.”
Aldag switched to irrigation instead of relying on natural water. Because of the drought, many other growers are beginning to do the same.
“Last summer was the summer that did the damage that you couldn't keep the cracks out of the ground last year, even with the drip lines,” Aldag said. “But I did save a lot of my trees, but I lost a few.”
Others were not so lucky.
“I was told Santa’s Woods down by Blair was not going to be they were getting out of the business,” Aldag said. “And I know I drove by there last spring and there were a lot of brown trees. And they were supplying 1500 to 2000 trees a year.”
But, just because Aldag uses irrigation does not mean he is not affected by dry conditions.
“We went six months without any rain; and now we couldn't irrigate during that time. Because, it was October through May and there weren't any rains; and the trees over the winter still use water and we didn't get any snow or or rain to get them through the winter,” Aldag said.
Around the holiday time, Christmas trees mean a lot to people, especially in rural areas of Nebraska. That is why it is important to try your absolute hardest to keep the trees growing.
“People that like real trees come back every year and they don't want artificial trees,” Aldag said. “Christmas is smelling the tree in the house and coming out and spending. Some families will come out and spend an hour to two hours out here.”
Although this drought has affected many other areas in Nebraska, Aldag Acres still has trees to give for the holiday season.