'Tis the weekend when many Minnesota families traditionally begin sizing up Christmas trees, and this year they will have a particularly memorable selection to choose from.
WCCO reported that the weather over the past year was prime to produce a tree that fulfills Christmas wishes.
“We’ve got plenty of moisture and plenty of warm weather — not overly warm, it’s just been just the perfect conditions," tree farmer Tom Hanson told the station. "Couldn’t ask for better conditions for growing trees this year.”
The Winona Daily News shared a truism from tree producers that says, when it’s a good year for corn, it’s a good year for Christmas trees. (Many Minnesota farmers experienced a record corn harvest this fall.)
The newspaper talked to Bruce Bauer of Bauer’s Market and Garden Center in La Crescent, who explained that drought and heat are tough on trees, and this summer brought neither to the region.
The state's Minnesota Grown website has a page devoted to locally produced Christmas trees that includes a map of where farms are and when families can choose and chop down their own tree.
It says that Minnesota Christmas tree farmers market approximately 500,000 Christmas trees each year with Balsam Fir, Fraser Fir and Scotch Pine as the most popular varieties. It takes 8-12 years for a tree to grow to market height.
KTOE in Mankato checked in with Minnesota Grown’s Paul Hugunin, who said that buying local is a way to support the state’s farmers and the environment.
“Because Christmas trees are grown on farms and it’s a planted crop. So it’s completely renewable," he said.