December 25, 20l6
To Our Christmas Tree Customers:
We have heard from some of our customers who purchased trees from us, that they have had a problem with needle drop on their trees. We are very concerned about this situation and have attempted to get answers. After consulting with several nursery professionals and drawing on our own years of experience growing evergreens, an environmental issue seems to be the most logical explanation. We have had several bizarre weather years, starting with the drought and heat in 2012. The year of 2015 wasn’t much better. Both summer and winter brought excessive rains which seems to have started a stress problem with the evergreens, particularly the Norway spruce. As a result of the rains, our heavy clay soil stayed unnaturally wet which likely compromised the root structure of our Christmas trees. In the summer of 2016, we again had torrential rains followed by a very dry fall. The rain likely exasperated the root problem, leaving few viable roots to sustain the tree during a dry period. When the stressed tree was eventually cut, it could not compensate, thus it dropped its needles prematurely. This is all conjecture now, but it is the consensus of opinion that this is the most feasible explanation. We are experiencing some strange weather changes with trends that seem to be deviating from the norm—i.e. wet springs, dry summers, and adequate fall rain for the trees to withstand the winter. Over the past few years the trend seems to be leaning towards droughty conditions in spring, excessive rain in summer (proving too much for evergreens in our heavy clay soils), and dry fall and winters.
We apologize for the bad experience some of our customers have had, and we certainly hope Mother Nature will start to be a little kinder to us in the future.
For the foreseeable future, we will continue to supplement our existing trees in the field with ones from Michigan and North Carolina, as well as our wholesale farm (via a trolley ride). Our numbers for three and four year old trees are good and sustainable, but we are a couple years out before we see peak production again. We felt the need to share with our customers the problems we have faced in the past few years. We also wish to thank our long-time customers for continuing to visit our farm and making memories we try very hard to provide. We are also experimenting with a variety of different types of evergreens to see if we can come up with something that will be happier in our ever-changing environment and soil conditions. Thank you for your understanding.
Yours in trees, The Roods