Drought Watch: Tree Sales Drying Up

More presents might be put under artificial Christmas trees this year because of the drought.

Even though a fresh cut tree in your home might give you the Christmas feel, the fact is that sales are down.  Poinsettias are also suffering this year because of the drought.  Nursery Manager Greg Pollock with Smith’s Gardentown and Farms said normally there would be quite a few poinsettias and fresh cut trees, but not as many people seem to be buying them.  It’s just been a rough season.
“We have noticed a decline cause we didn’t bring in as many as last year.  Plus our order from Churches and such haven’t been the same in the past possibly to conserve water,” Pollock said.
However, conserving water is also on the businesses mind.  If anything, Pollock said they try to conserve more than the average household.  To keep up the quality of the trees and plants in their store they limit the amount of times they water.  For Christmas trees, they only water them about once or twice a week.  They have little bowls under the tree, for it to sit on, and they fill them with water.  Another solution is that they will use reclaimed water they collect from their ponds.
Pollock explained, “We’ve cut back on the number of plants we are trying to grow.  We are keeping very little in stock.”
Instead Smith’s Gradentown Farms take in requests from their customers and place the orders.  This has seemed to really help them with their profit this season because they don’t have to throw anything away.
Even though their company is struggling with sales, Optimist Tree Lots is having more success.  Carlos Martinez, who sells the trees, said they have been doing really well this year.  He explained that the trees they have gotten are actually better than the ones they have received in the past.

"We've had a lot of folks that are coming out to the Optimist Tree Lot and buying the Christmas trees," Martinez said.

All of the proceeds from their sales will go back to the community locally to the Boys and Girls Club, Camp Fire, and other youth organizations.

So sales might be down for Smith’s Gardentown Farms, but the drought isn’t stopping them from enjoying the holidays.  As for the New Year, they are planning on stocking up on drought tolerant plants.

Alexandra McClung, Newschannel 6