Beniamin and Diana Cobaschi with their children Caleb and Alice, on Tuesday, Nov. 29, in front of a section of scorched seedlings at the family-owned Tannenbaum Tree Farm at 5398 252nd St. in Aldergrove that were damaged by extremely hot weather. “They didn’t make it,” Beniamin said. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Beniamin and Diana Cobaschi with their children Caleb and Alice, on Tuesday, Nov. 29, in front of a section of scorched seedlings at the family-owned Tannenbaum Tree Farm at 5398 252nd St. in Aldergrove that were damaged by extremely hot weather. “They didn’t make it,” Beniamin said. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

How Langley Christmas tree farms were affected by the ‘heat dome’

Full impact likely won’t be seen until next year

Last weekend (Nov. 26), the phone was ringing a lot at the Tannenbaum Christmas Tree Farm in Aldergrove, with would-be buyers checking to see if trees were in good supply.

Co-owner Beniamin Cobaschi’s answer was “yes,” but he advised next year might be different – the result of scorching hot weather that did considerable damage to the young seedlings that need a few years to grow into full-size Christmas trees.

“We lost 1,000 last year and 600 this year,” Cobaschi told the Langley Advance Times.

“It was mostly the seedlings.”

That was out of 4,000 planted every year.

“It sets you back two years,” Cobaschi said.

The full impact of the weather won’t be felt right away, Cobaschi said.

“Next year, we’re going to have trouble.”

A family emerged with a purchase at the Tannenbaum Tree Farm at 5398 252 St in Aldergrove on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (Langley Advance Times file)

A family emerged with a purchase at the Tannenbaum Tree Farm at 5398 252 St in Aldergrove on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (Langley Advance Times file)

An online notice advised buyers there is a “limited selection” at Tannenbaum this year, with the family-run tree farm at 5398 252nd St. open on Saturdays and Sundays only from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. – while supplies last.

READ ALSO: Christmas tree season is off to an early start, Aldergrove family farm reports

Cobaschi is considering putting in an irrigation system to water the seedlings in the future, and plans to investigate how other farms handled the heat.

“The climate is changing,” he noted.

At Aldor Acres Christmas Tree Farm, Leanna Anderson credited her father-in-law, Albert Anderson, with installing an irrigation system well before the hot weather hit.

“He had the foresight,” Anderson commented.

As a result, the tree farm at at 8249 252nd St. was “well stocked,” both with its homegrown trees, and trees brought in to supplement their supply.

Aldor trees were “sufficiently strong to handle the excessive heat, combined with our irrigation system,” Anderson said.

Thanks to their irrigation system, Mark and Leanna Anderson at Aldor Acres Christmas Tree Farm were able to cope with extremely hot weather that has damaged crops at other farms. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Thanks to their irrigation system, Mark and Leanna Anderson at Aldor Acres Christmas Tree Farm were able to cope with extremely hot weather that has damaged crops at other farms. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Aldor will be open until Dec. 18, weekdays from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and weekends from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for u-cut “while supplies last” during daylight hours. There are also encounters with farm animals and a seasonal market.

READ ALSO: Heat dome killed 23 people in Langley: B.C. Coroner

Evergrow, a Lower Mainland company that delivers potted trees and then replants them after the holidays, has reported farm owners and experts have been telling them 2021 was one of the worst growing years since the 1980s.

“We’re talking to farmers who are telling us over a third of their trees for the season are damaged so badly they can’t sell them,” said Evergrow CEO Paige Wheaton.

“Many farms are planning to open for only one or two weekends in November because they know they will be sold out by then.”

People looking for live Christmas trees should start shopping sooner, according to Evergrow.

Other Langley tree farms now open include: Oh Christmas Tree Farm at 21858 Maxwell Cres., Dogwood Christmas Tree Farm at 8659 252nd St., the Fernridge Christmas Tree Forest at 2828 208th St., Sorensen’s Tree Farm at 1729 236th St., and Frosty’s Family Christmas Tree Farm at 24488 52nd Ave.

On Friday, Dec. 2, Geisbrecht’s Tree Farm opens at 5871 248th St.

On Dec. 3, Riley Tree Farm opens at 21998 100th Ave., Baarts’ Christmas Tree Farm at 6280 224th Street, and Fern Creek Farm at 22441 79th Ave.

Red Trees Farm in Aldergrove at 25393 40th Avenue is taking bookings for their Christmas Experience through their website at https://redtreesfarm.com for the weekends of Dec. 3-4 and Dec. 10-11


Have a story tip? Email: dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

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