Will Texas Christmas trees be affected by 2023's extreme weather?


AUSTIN (KXAN) – When one thinks of Texas, Christmas trees may not be the first industry to come to mind. 

Stan Reed, the Executive Secretary of the Texas Christmas Tree Growers Association, would agree – Christmas trees and Texas isn’t the most obvious pairing. Still, farmers around the state produce over two million Christmas trees annually, and the industry racks in tens of millions of dollars for the state a year, Reed said. 

“First thing when you think of Texas, it’s either chili or something else. You never think of Christmas trees,” Reed said. “Over the years, [it] has blossomed into a larger and larger industry.” 

“There’s about four types of Christmas trees that grow really well in Texas,” he added. 

How has the turbulent Texas weather affected crops?

Reed said drought conditions can affect how fast and tall a tree can grow. 

“[Drought conditions] have diminished the growth of some of the crops that were expected. I know at least two farms that won’t be open this year because their trees aren’t tall enough really to sell,” Reed said. 

“You’re expecting a tree to get to six feet by Christmas, and you get a drought like this year or last year, that tree is only going to be about maybe four and a half to five feet instead of six. And most people prefer six to ten feet trees,” Reed continued. 

Those among us who only buy Texas-grown Christmas trees don’t have to lose any of their Christmas spirit – Reed said there are still over 100 lots producing decent trees this season. 

Even the 2023 February freeze, which was tough on Texas trees all over the state, didn’t affect as many trees as it could have.

“That freeze in February, which didn’t really affect as many as they would have had it been a couple of weeks earlier,” Reed said. “I do know of a couple of farms  – up in the Dallas area – that had minimal loss –  maybe 50 to 100 trees.” 

 What trees grow in Texas?

Christmas trees are grown all over the state. Common varieties produced in Texas are the Afghan pine, the Arizona blue ice cypress, the Leyland cypress and the Virginia pine. 

Though quite a few trees are grown, chopped and set up in the homes of many Texans, the state is not a top producer of Christmas trees. The majority of the upwards of 30 million Christmas trees sold every year come from Oregon, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Washington, according to the National Christmas Tree Association.

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