It’s the most wonderful time of the year… but not without the perfect Christmas Tree. The feeling of heading out to a Christmas tree lot, walking through the freshly cut pines and claiming your favorite is definitely a memory most people have of the holiday season. It may vary depending on where you grew up – maybe you cut down your own tree, or you had a row of artificial ones to pick from – but the feeling is mutual when it comes to claiming your favorite and taking it home to decorate with your family.

California’s prolonged drought has wreaked devastation to agriculture across the state. So it shouldn’t come as any surprise that its Grinch-like ways have also struck at the fort of holiday tradition — our beloved Christmas tree. Christmas tree growers across the state are struggling with growing issues as a shortage of rainfall has caused some varieties of trees to dry up or grow at a much slower pace. This has been forcing many tree farmers to import Christmas trees from out of state, mostly from Washington and Oregon. Since they need a lot of water, it has become nearly impossible to grow them in California.

Maybe the drought won’t make a difference for consumers, but if they seem a little off this year, you can blame the drought. The lack of rain is making the centerpiece of the holiday shorter than normal, and they may not stand as tall and poised as you would want them to.

There are still plenty of things we can do to help save water: give back this holiday season, save water in your house and place of business, shop local and sustainable.