Christmas tree farms in the Ozarks feeling the brunt end of inflation and drought

Christmas tree farms contend with inflation and drought this holiday season
Published: Nov. 25, 2022 at 8:32 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) -Tis the season to get your Christmas tree. Tree farms around the Ozarks have been gearing up all year for these next few weeks, on top of taking a hit by harsh inflation and extreme drought conditions over the summer.

Karen and Don Nelson have owned Delaware Town Christmas Tree Farm in Nixa for two years. What started out as a hobby has grown into a family business. But regardless for them, it’s not about the money. Even though they were hit by inflation costs they decided to absorb them and not increase their prices.

“You’ve got a customer base, and you want to respect them,” said Karen. “They’re going through hard times, we all are going through hard times with inflation. We’re going to get through it. And if we can bring joy and happiness at a reasonable reimbursement to us, then that’s what we wanted to do. "

And while the Nelsons are absorbing inflation costs by not raising their prices, they still have to contend with the severe drought conditions. But they came up with a solution to keep their farm going.

“We set up a drip irrigation system,” said Don. “And without that our mortality rate for trees would be prohibitively high. In fact, I don’t know how we could be in existence without irrigation for these rough summers we’ve had.”

They’re not the only ones experiencing the effects of drought and inflation. Cole’s Tree Farm in Lebanon also felt the brunt end of increased prices.

They too chose not to increase their tree prices because they already had to increase their prices last year. While they can eat the cost this year they say next year is still up in the air.

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