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Future Arkansas Christmas tree supply could be affected by drought

Arkansas and Oklahoma have seen an arid drought that could have a significant impact on the Christmas trees growing in the area.

ARKANSAS CITY, Ark. — Wonderland Tree Farm opened its doors on Saturday, Nov. 19, for customers to begin shopping for their Christmas trees. 

For the Newkirks' shopping for their tree at Wonderland Tree Farm has been an annual tradition.

“This will be the one,” said Drake Newkirk while examining a Christmas tree at the farm.

For the past five years, the Newkirks' have made Wonderland Tree Farm their shopping destination. At first, they would shop with their dogs, but now they shop with their 2 1/2-year-old son, Theo.

“We plan to keep on coming as long as they have trees here,” said Hannah Newkirk.

This year, despite the drought, Wonderland Tree Farm Owner Jill Babb says they have plenty of trees in stock. “Thousands of thousands of trees,” she said. 

Jill and her husband Martin Babb opened the farm eight years ago and have turned it into a family affair with everyone chipping in.

"Martin does most of the farm stuff, I do most of the fun stuff,” Jill said while laughing.

With the drought this year, the Babbs' had to put in a lot of work to make sure you get your Christmas tree.

"We watered day and night for over two months straight, and my husband was definitely able to save the farm that way," said Jill. "But we know many other farmers that have had problems and have lost trees.”

Lollis Christmas Tree Farm and Pine Grove Christmas Tree Farm tell 5NEWS, along with Wonderland, they've both lost seedlings. Adding that they are currently still in good supply, but the drought could have an impact on Christmas tree supply within the next five years.

Jill says if it wasn't for the effort her family made, they could have lost more. 

“He put in the time in the time and he saved the farm,” Jill said about Martin.

Kids like Isaac Neustifter welcome the current tree supply as good news. 

"Oh sure I do," Isaac said explaining how he loves to go Christmas tree shopping with his family.

“This is our third year doing it,” said Isaac's older sister Lyla Besaw.

They hope they are able to continue the tradition five years down the line when we could see the impact of this year's drought.

Chuck Neustifter asks people to think positively. "We must remember it’s Christmas magic.”

Christmas tree farmers recommend that you don't leave your tree up for more than a month, as some farms report drier than normal trees.

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