“During the past few years there has been a higher demand for live trees,” said Greg Hann, promotion director of the Wisconsin Christmas Tree Producers Association and owner of Hann’s Christmas Farm in Oregon. “Many growers are encouraging their customers to plan on shopping a little earlier than normal to get the best quality tree that they desire.”
Hann recommends using the interactive map ‘Find a Real Tree’ on the Wisconsin Christmas Tree Producers Association’s website and suggests that you may need to be flexible in choosing a tree.
“A Christmas tree grower’s business is about much more than just selling trees—it’s about creating cherished, happy memories,” added Hann. “People visit a Christmas tree farm for an experience. You come for the sights, the sounds, the smells, time together, and at the end of your visit, you take home a beautiful real tree.”
Input costs have challenged Christmas tree growers this year. Herbicide and pesticide costs have nearly tripled over previous years. Because of this, consumers will see a 10% increase in the price of live trees.
“Many families are attracted to the tradition of celebrating Christmas with a real tree in their homes, and doing so has a positive impact for Wisconsin,” said Cassie Sonnentag, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Director of Media Relations and Outreach. “Wisconsin is the fifth-largest Christmas tree-growing state. Those sales contribute $50 million to our state’s economy.”
In addition to benefiting the state’s economy, several environmental benefits of Christmas trees include:
• The absorption of carbon dioxide and other gases, and in turn, the trees emit oxygen.
• For every real Christmas tree harvested, two to three seedlings are planted.
• Tree farms serve as great habitat for wildlife to live.
• After Christmas, trees can be recycled into mulch to be used on trails or gardens. Growers use the mulch around seedlings to preserve moisture and reduce weed competition. Some recycled cut trees are used as soil erosion barriers or wildlife habitats.
“Beyond converting carbon dioxide into breathable oxygen, Christmas trees filter water, reduce runoff and potential flooding, and provide homes, food and protection for wildlife,” added Sonnentag.
Wisconsin has more than 850 Christmas tree farms. According to the most recent agricultural census, Wisconsin ranks fifth in the nation in the number of trees cut and acres (more than 23,000) in production. More than 700,000 evergreens are harvested each fall.
A complete list of farms and retail lots is available on the Wisconsin Christmas Tree Producers Association’s website along with tips for selecting a tree and caring for it once you have it home.
For more information about farm-grown trees, visit the National Christmas Tree Association website at realchristmastrees.org.
Through a grant received by the WCTPA, the Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom program collaborated in creating educational resources and promoting careers in the tree industry. These resources are available to students by contacting WCTPA Executive Director Cheryl Nicholson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Wisconsin Christmas Tree Producers Association membership is comprised of Christmas tree growers, wreath makers and industry-related companies. The mission of the Wisconsin Christmas Tree Producers Association is to promote real Christmas trees, wreaths and greenery through marketing and education of our members and customers and to produce quality real, farm-fresh and fragrant products while protecting the environment.