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Drought Strains Christmas Tree Supplies


'Tis the season for Christmas tree sales, but, as Capital Public Radio's Rich Ibarra reports, supplies are tight this year because of the drought in California.

A chain saw makes a few finishing touches on a silvertip fir at the Segale Brothers Christmas tree lot in Stockton.

It's the oldest Christmas tree lot in Northern California founded in 1937.

Customers here want their trees just right.

"For a good tree stands as tall as can be, and as green as can be, and one I can hang ornaments on."

"Nice and symmetrical, cone shaped, nice and full."

But lack of rain left many California Christmas trees smaller and thinner.

Owner Wayne Segale says most of his trees this year come from Oregon which went without rain for three months but got soaked in October which made a big difference.

"They're a lot of moisture in them, the trucks are so heavy they almost get a ticket going over the scales so that means a lot of moisture in them."

Segale says prices are up slightly this year but only by a few dollars per tree. 


Rich Ibarra

Contributing Central Valley/Foothills Reporter

As the Central Valley correspondent, Rich Ibarra covers San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Merced counties, along with the foothill areas including Tuolumne and Calaveras counties. He covers politics, the economy and issues affecting the region.   Read Full Bio 

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