A holiday tradition may be in jeopardy due to the drought

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Growing Christmas trees is a hobby for Greg Sowell. He looks forward to seeing families come out each year, searching for their favorite tree, even in spite of this year's drought.

"Our trees did remarkably well through this drought. They're really beautiful. They're full. They're healthy trees," said Alazan Christmas Tree Farm owner, Greg Sowell.

Customers, like Carol Davis didn't even consider buying a tree, until she saw Sowell's selection.

"Well, we didn't even really think about coming looking for Christmas trees, and we saw this while we were down visiting for the holidays," said Fort Worth native, Carol Davis.

Although most of his trees grew tall and healthy, the drought took a toll on others.

"With the young seedlings that were planted in January, we had a near total of loss on those. But, we'll replant them again in January," said Sowell.

Sowell says the drought was so bad the young trees didn't make it through their first year, the most crucial year for a Christmas tree to grow. As the drought continues, it could have long term effects on the business.

"We're going to not have any trees four or five years from now because it's actually taking a toll on the small seedlings, not on the full size tress. I didn't lose a one," said Sowell.

But as for this year, business will continue like normal.

"They're beautiful. We're going to have a tough time picking out our favorite one," said Davis.

And, picking the perfect tree from the farm continues as a holiday tradition.

"It's a fun experience, hopefully we'll be able to continue in the future," said Davis.

Sowell says he's planning install an irrigation system in order to be more successful in the future.

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