Phytophthora root rot may put an end to traditional fir Christmas trees.
Christmas tree farmers in Oregon, the number one state for Christmas tree production, have been losing more and more trees to root rot. Phytophthora root rot, a water mold that damages trees, could cause an estimated $304 million a year to Oregon’s Christmas tree industry. Farmers in North Carolina, the second largest Christmas tree producing state, lose around $6 million a year to the mold, reports the Associated Press.
This has many farmers looking to a different type of fir tree: the Turkish fir. The Turkish fir tree has shown considerable resistance to root rot and may be just what Christmas tree farmers need to stay in business. This doesn’t mean that the Turkish fir is invincible, as it may be susceptible to frost later in the year due to its early budding. The tree is also a target for hungry deer, which will chose it over other fir trees, the Associated Press notes.