Wisconsinites buying local trees this Christmas, WFBF says

Wisconsin State Farmer
A Christmas tree at Lancaster's Winterberry Tree Farm in Brooklyn is claimed for the 2018 season.

The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation said they are encouraging more people across the state to buy local Christmas trees as support for small businesses rises during the pandemic.

A press release said buying a real, local Christmas tree is good for the economy and the environment and also "makes for great memories." Tree farms are good wildlife habitats, and Christmas trees also help the atmosphere by absorbing carbon dioxide and emitting oxygen in its place. They can also be repurposed into mulch.

"With consumers showing a desire to support local businesses, the tradition of celebrating Christmas with a real tree is a great option to support Wisconsin tree growers," said Sarah Hetke, director of communications for WFBF. "In light of the pandemic, a recent survey indicated that 21 percent of respondents who put up an artificial tree in 2019 indicated that they will put up a real tree in 2020."

"Harvest went good for tree growers and there are plenty of trees available," according to Dean Lemke, president of the WCTPA and manager of Central Wisconsin Evergreens, Inc. "This year, I suspect that some farms might sell out earlier because demand will be high since people haven’t been able to do as much."

A full list of Wisconsin's real Christmas tree sellers is available on the Wisconsin Christmas Tree Producers Association's website, which also includes information on how to choose your tree and care for it once it's taken home with you. The trees definitely won't be in short supply this year, the release said, as Wisconsin has over 850 tree farms. The state ranks fifth in Christmas tree production in the country with more than 23,000 acres and 700,000 trees harvested every fall.

"COVID may have put an extra wrinkle in our businesses but the Christmas tree growers are doing whatever they can to keep everyone safe," Lemke said. "Now is the perfect time for families to venture out to get a real Christmas tree, the milder weather makes it even easier to take a trip to a tree farm or retail Christmas tree lot."