1 in 5 tree farms sustain drought damage

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin Christmas tree farms lost tens of thousands of trees to drought conditions this year.

New figures from state agriculture officials show more than 1 in 5 tree farms sustained drought damage.

Nearly a million Christmas trees are harvested on Wisconsin's 1,100 farms each year. The drought hit growers in southern Wisconsin especially hard, as well as those in the central sands region, including Waushara, Marquette, Adams and Waupaca counties. In those counties, state inspectors found 40 percent of more trees died.

At Ottman Family Christmas Tree Farm in Pewaukee, all of the 5,000 seedlings planted by Ken Ottman this year have died. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Ottman bought trees from northern Wisconsin wholesalers to sell at his lot.


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