Whether they require lots of water depends on where they’re grown. In California, Christmas tree farmers use drip irrigation. The trees “use more water than a vineyard but less water than a tree fruit—and much less than almonds,” Wunderlich says. In North Carolina, says Hundley, “We don’t irrigate. We just take our chances.” Though the trees get watered during their first year, North Carolina farmers rely on nature to do the rest. That means dry weather can occasionally wipe out large numbers of trees, but the strategy conserves resources in the long run.