Why is climate change affecting Christmas tree production?

What is the impact of climate change on Christmas tree production?

What is the impact of climate change on Christmas trees? There is a plethora of data that the ramifications for forestry are numerous.

The coming of December heralds the commencement of one of the world’s busiest end-of-year industries: Christmas trees. This iconic object, which has become the focus of Christmas decorations in every home, is suffering from the effects of a global problem: climate change. But how does climate change effect Christmas trees, and what data do we have to back this up?

The Impact of Climate Change on Christmas Trees

High temperatures, which are increasingly being recorded in numerous parts of the globe, are one symptom of climate change. Massive snowfall used to fall in places like Nova Scotia, Canada, where balsam fir sold as Christmas trees is grown. Because the spruce takes a succession of preceding frosts to harden and preserve its needles long after they are cut, this favored trees that would be sold in December.

According to Chrissy Trenholme, associate director of the Northeastern Christmas Tree Association, these frosts are becoming less common in that area.

The growing of several species of trees to be sold during Christmas is also practiced in parts of the United States. One of these is the state of Oregon, where tree output and demand are both influenced by the weather.

Several producers began to discover that their trees were browning and drying considerably sooner than intended.

“It pains your heart to step outside one day and see the trees looking healthy and fresh, only to return the next day to find them wilted and turning color. You can’t stop it, and there’s nothing you can do about it “According to Larry Ryerson, a 78-year-old Christmas tree grower from southern Oregon,

Short- and long-term losses are significant.

Of course, this has a negative impact on farmers’ produce (and earnings), as climate change has steadily evolved into a formidable foe to be overcome. However, there is another issue that could arise in the next 8 to 10 years.

Before a Christmas tree is transported home and decorated, it takes almost a decade for it to grow long enough. According to Jim Horst, executive director of the Christmas Tree Association of New Hampshire and Vermont, one reason supply is short this year is that the trees that are mature now were planted at a time when costs were low, so some people stopped growing.

Horst is the owner of a Christmas tree farm in southern Vermont. Due to high dryness in May and June caused by climate change, he lost roughly 30% of the young trees he planted in 2020 this year.

Because of the tree shortage in 2021, there may not be enough trees for households to go out and acquire them in around ten years.

Pests are another climate change-related adversary.

Insect pests that infest Christmas trees are increasing as a result of climate change, particularly in Mexico. These products are imported into our country from various parts of the United States, and they contain insects that are hazardous to our country’s ecosystems.

Because the heat causes them to enhance their presence in locations where they are not typically observed, they are between 25 and 30 pests of various creatures, including borer and bark beetles, moths, and wasps, among others.

At a 2019 interview with EFE, Javier Navarrete, director of Wildlife and Phytosanitary Inspection in Ports, Airports, and Borders at the Federal Attorney General’s Office for Environmental Protection (Profepa), said:

“There will never be a zero risk; we can only act by having educated human resources to limit pests, ensuring that the entry of alien bugs into Mexico is blocked in more than 90% of cases.”

What are the options for preventing fir trees from succumbing to climate change?

The approach would be to strengthen the genetic traits of the trees to speed up their growth, allowing their genetic reaction to adapt to the ravages of climate change.

Comparative genetic mapping might also be useful in determining the conifer genome’s evolutionary possibilities. The Pinaceae family of plants is used to extract a lot of information.

Several research groups think that fusing chromosomes from different conifer families might be a good way to make stronger and more adaptable species to climate change.

 

Article Author: Gerluxe Image: eu.courier-journal