Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Live Christmas trees may be hard to find come holiday time

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ETHEL - A summer-long drought may be affecting a beloved winter tradition. 

August brought some of the highest temperatures recorded in the state with little precipitation. Now, Christmas tree farm owners like Lisa and Ricky Brabham Peairs are struggling to keep their trees healthy for the upcoming season. 

"In over 20 years of raising and selling trees, we haven't really had this severe a drought," Lisa Peairs said.

The Peairs' farm, Windy Hills, grows more than 3,000 trees on a normal year—this year, 20% of those trees died due to lack of water.

"We've lost a lot of the really young trees we set out last year and the year before. They are a year or two old and don't have the root systems the older trees have."

Peairs says smaller farms have tried to irrigate their trees, but this plan doesn't work for everyone. She said the move doesn't make financial sense for Windy Hills because of the size.

Windy Farms will be open this Christmas, selling trees that made it through the hot summer. The Peairs are looking forward to seeing customers, even with a limited supply.


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