Blue Christmas for Vermont tree farms? - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Blue Christmas for Vermont tree farms?

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ESSEX, Vt. -

From making wreaths to admiring trees that will soon be hauled away, Christmas is in the air at White's Tree Farm in Essex.

"They just reach out and grab you," Bob White said.

Normally this time of year is laid back-- the calm before the holiday storm. But things are different this season.

"We're just killing trees, killing trees," White said. "I've had enough of it."

Half of White's crop was wiped out in July after his 35-acre property was flooded.

"We knew we were wiped out that night," he said. "Right here where we're standing-- 6 inches. At the far end of the field-- 6-feet."

Of 45,000 trees, he estimates he's lost 20,000. Each tree takes a decade of work before it's ready to sell.

Reporter Gina Bullard: How does it feel to look around see half of your crop destroyed?

Bob White: Very depressing.

The flooding came at a crucial time of growth. And depending on the elevation, some trees are thriving while others are dead and being chopped down one by one.

"We don't know why Mother Nature kills that one and leaves this one alone," White said. "We've got a lot of trees like these that look great, but we won't have anywhere near the number we need. So, people will be able to come and cut trees until we run out."

But it might take a Christmas miracle for White's Tree Farm to stay open. The flood has cost the longtime business several hundred thousand dollars.

Gina Bullard: Could this put you out of business?

Bob White: Absolutely.

White hopes selling the healthy trees, his maple syrup and wreaths will help get this family through the holidays.

White's Tree Farm will also buy cut trees this year to supplement its loss.

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