Saving Trees After the Drought


The drought is over for most of Central Illinois. In the past few months, some trees have come back to life. As for others, it may be too late to save them.

Ron Evans, The President of Four E's Trees in Macon county said, "It was devastating. We didn't dig a tree probably from the first week of May through the last week of September. Nobody could plant and nobody could stock it in really dry soil."

Charlie Ropp, The President of Elwin Tree Farm seems to agree. He told WAND, "it's been rough on a lot of the larger trees. There will be more trees dying and it will show next year."

Evans and Ropp can probably plant a tree blindfolded. They have been harvesting trees for years. They know wet weather is a key to success.

"Any rain is going to help us this time of year," Evans added.

However, when farmers plant they don't just plant for trees right now, they plant so trees can grow strong years from now.

"We don't determine by the drought. It's a guessing game. When we plant trees now we're planting for seven to 10 years from now," Ropp said.

With the lack of rain and a drought, it's hard for trees to stay alive.

"We lost probably 90 percent of seedlings, all of our bur seedlings died. The scotch and white pine did a little better but we probably lost a little bit of those due to the drought," Evans replied.

On a farm with thousands of trees, Evans said, luckily Christmas trees are ready for the holiday. Nearly 6,000 trees are ready to be sold and 700 need to be tossed out.

Some of the trees that are making it through the rough weather are because of a water irrigation system that helps when mother nature falls short.

"We try to water as much as we can, but uh when you have 90,000 trees to water in one well it's just not enough water," Evans said.

"This year we planted about 5,000 trees and we only lost a few of them," replied Ropp.

It is too early to determine if the recent planted trees will survive. They have to wait until the Spring to check. What the farmers want now is a wet Winter so things will pick up.

Current Conditions