It’s been a difficult 2023 with drought affecting nearly every sector of Missouri’s agriculture industry. As for some of Missouri’s Christmas tree farms, they, too, are struggling.

Troy Bollinger with Bollinger Farms in Bonne Terre said it has been a rough year.

“It absolutely has more so in the future than the immediate,” said Bollinger. “My larger trees that are more fully established, they are doing fair to good, struggling with the drought but still dealing with it.”

Missouri has experienced close to two years of drought-like conditions.

There’s also the newly planted trees.

“We did suffer significant losses in the smaller trees and especially the seedlings and stuff,” explained Bollinger. “We wound up having to do away with some of those, or they did away with themselves, I guess is the more accurate phrase due to the weather and the drought.”

Missouri has been under a drought alert since the end of May.

“We did experience, I know in May and June, on our particular farm, for two months, we received a grand total of three-tenths of an inch of rain for two months,” said Bollinger. “With the warmer temperatures we had back in June, especially that was just torment on those small seedlings, especially.”

According to the Missouri Christmas Tree Producers Association, the state has roughly 40 tree farms.

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