Fulton Christmas Tree Farm Closes Due to Drought

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FULTON - With Christmas less than 4 weeks away, many mid-Missouri residents are starting to pick a Christmas tree.  But some residents who usually go to local farms may have more difficulty finding the perfect tree.

The drought the past two years has hurt many local trees.  Jamie Coe has run Coe's Tree Farm for the past 25 years; however, this year he is closing his business.

"It just isn't fun anymore," said Coe.  "The drought killed so many of the trees, and I'm about ready to retire.  I just didn't want to do it anymore."

James Jarman from University of Missouri Extension in Fulton is an Agronomy Specialist. He has monitored what has happened to trees the past few years.

"We had two really wet years, then two really dry years after that," said Jarman. "And its really been hard on all trees."

Jarman also said that Missouri's climate is not ideal for pine trees to grow. "Our soil is clay so these pine trees don't like it.  Also the roots don't always get enough water to survive."

Coe said he still has customers stop by to purchase a tree.  "That's the hard part," said Coe.  "Telling the people who I have seen come back 20 years.  I saw them grow up."

As for the trees that are still on the land, Coe said he will sell whatever he has this year.  After this season, he plans to have a nice pine forest behind his house.