Buy local: Buy a real Christmas Tree

Wisconsin State Farmer

Madison – Meeting consumer demands for real Christmas trees this year won’t be a problem due to ideal weather conditions.

A tree is pushed through a baler Nov. 16 at the Wolosek Christmas Tree Farm south of Wisconsin Rapids.

There are plenty of trees, according to Cheryl Nicholson, executive secretary of the Wisconsin Christmas Tree Producers Association.

“It’s a great year for families to venture out to get a real Christmas tree,” Nicholson said. “There are more than 850 Christmas tree farms in Wisconsin and with nearly perfect weather this past summer, the trees look great.”

Besides creating memories and family traditions, cutting a real tree benefits the economy and environment.

“A real Christmas tree is a better environmental option because real trees are a recyclable and renewable resource,” said Amy Eckelberg, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation spokesperson. “With the trend of consumers showing their preference for local products and many are attracted to the tradition of celebrating Christmas with a real tree in their home.”

A benefit to the atmosphere, real Christmas trees absorb carbon dioxide and other gases, emitting fresh oxygen. For every real Christmas tree harvested, two to three seedlings are planted. Tree farms also make a great place for wildlife to live.

“Often, Christmas trees are grown on soils that could not support other crops,” Eckelberg added.

Even after Christmas, the real trees can be recycled into mulch to be used on trails or gardens. Some cut trees are used as soil erosion barriers, wildlife habitats or placed in ponds for fish shelters.

“The sale of Christmas trees and wreaths generates tens of millions of dollars for Wisconsin's economy and thousands of residents are employed in the industry,” Nicholson added. “Many tree farms offer gift shops, farm animals, reindeer, bonfires, hot chocolate, wagon rides and other activities, which give families a great winter-time agtourism trip.”

According to the most recent agricultural census, Wisconsin is fifth in the nation in the number of trees cut and acres (more than 23,000) in production. More than 600,000 evergreens are harvested each fall.

A complete list of farms and retail lots is available on the Wisconsin Christmas Tree Producers Association's website at Tips for selecting a tree can be found on the National Christmas Tree Producers Association's website at