Because of drought, Christmas tree farm won’t open this year

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TIVERTON, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island Christmas tree farm where visitors can cut their own tree won’t open this holiday season, but it’s not because of the coronavirus — it’s because of drought.

“After a thorough inventory of our trees we have determined that the stress caused by this summer’s drought has resulted in too much damage for us to have sufficient inventory of trees for our loyal customers,” Tiverton-based Clarks Christmas Tree Farm wrote in a message on its website.

The business plans on reopening in time for the 2021 Christmas season.

“While there is a normal sloughing off of interior needles in fir trees – similar to deciduous trees losing leaves — the drought has caused an increase in yellowing that will continue as trees are harvested and brought home this winter. Some younger trees are a complete loss, but the larger trees should recover assuming normal rainfall next year,” the farm posted.

The farm had announced in early October that it planned to open for three weekends after Thanksgiving with coronavirus restrictions in place.

The farm was established in 1958 and describes itself on its Facebook page as one of New England’s oldest Christamas tree farms.

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