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Minn. Christmas Tree Farm Getting Just Enough Rain

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(credit: CBS) Jamie Yuccas
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OAK GROVE, Minn. (WCCO) – More than half of the U.S. has been a designated disaster zone due to widespread drought, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture says it’s the most severe and expensive drought in 25 years.

Some farmers are even worried this Christmas may not be very merry. Newly planted Christmas tree seedlings in Wisconsin have wilted and are brown.

But Minnesota’s crop is in much different shape, and that includes Rum River tree farm, located just north of Anoka.

Owner Will Allmendinger says this year’s crop — nearly 90,000 trees — looks good.

“We got plenty of rain in April, and then in May we ran into one section of drought from the sixth to the 20th,” Allmendinger said. “Then we hit one point of six inches of rain.”

His seedlings are all green and so are his mature trees — the rain came at just the right time.

“We are very blessed,” Allmendinger said.

That’s good news because he already has almost 40,000 trees sold.

Allmendinger says in order for the crop to remain in good condition, the farm needs three inches of rain each month from now through October, but the trees can’t take it all at once.

The crops like the rain spaced out at 1/2 an inch to an inch each week.

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