DALLAS (NBC/KXAS) - If you're planning to get a tree this year, buying one grown in Texas may be a little hard.
The drought is to blame.
Some tree farms have had to shut down, while others are open -- but struggling. And the dry weather doesn't just impact this year's crop; farms will be dealing with problems for years to come.
"Mostly what we've suffered is the younger trees because they have the smaller roots, and they couldn't make it through the heat in the summer," said Twyla Nash, Elgin Christmas Tree Farm co-owner.
That means in a few years, the pickings will be slim.
Despite that, the Elgin Christmas Tree Farm is open. Workers said they are shipping in some precut trees from other parts of the country to make sure they have enough in supply to last through the season.
Meanwhile, the hay ride out to the farm isn't the same this year near Dallas. Rows and rows of brown Christmas trees greet customers, who are used to seeing green.
"It was a bit shocking to see," said tree shopper Heather Smith. "It almost looked like a burn victim."
"When we got out here, we just looked out and it was like, 'Wow,'" said tree shopper Brian Palmer.
Two-thirds of the trees at Lone Star Pines in Kaufman County did not make it through the drought.
"It's a big financial toll because we're going to have to doze down all the trees," said owner Beverly Chapman.
Chapman is trying to keep the holiday spirit alive for her loyal customers who have come here as an annual tradition.
"But it's not the same when you can't cut it down yourself," said Camille Palmer. "We drive an hour and a half to get out here every year to do it, rather than buying one that's already been cut."
But the Palmer family ended up buying a precut frasier fir from North Carolina.
"We went out and looked and tried really hard to find something, but nothing we could totally use," said Brian Palmer.
Still, some people managed to find what they were looking for.
"It was sad, but we hunted and hunted. And we found our tree," said Heather Smith.
The farm will be hurting for the next five years. The drought killed most of the saplings that would be full-grown by then. The owners said they are hoping for more rain so that they can keep the trees and their business alive until next Christmas.
"It wasn't in our hands, so we just have to make the best of it," said Chapman.
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