Lots Of Benefits Of A Real Christmas Tree

Make fond family memories this year at a Wisconsin Christmas tree farm local to you. Use the interactive map ‘Find a Real Tree’ on the Wisconsin Christmas Tree Producers Association’s website: https://www.christmastrees-wi.org/map/.

Greg Hann, media director of the Wisconsin Christmas Tree Producers Association and owner of Hann’s Christmas Farm in Oregon, says visiting your local Christmas tree farm supports the state’s economy. He says it also stimulates local economies by providing short-term jobs for Wisconsinites to help pay for this expensive time of year.

In addition to economic benefits, there are several environmental advantages of real Christmas trees:

  • The absorption of carbon dioxide and other gases, and in turn, the trees emit oxygen.
  • For every real Christmas tree harvested, two or three seedlings are planted.
  • Tree farms serve as great habitats 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 social erosion barriers or wildlife habitats.

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.

Through a grant received by the WCTPA, the Wisconsin Ag in the Classroom program collaborated in creating education resources and promoting careers in the tree industry. These resources are available to students by contacting WCTPA Executive Secretary Cheryl Nicholson at info@christmastree-wi.org.

Despite Challenges, Christmas Tree Growers Ready For Season

“The growing season has been tough for the small trees, but those aren’t the ones we’re harvesting. It takes eight to ten years to grow a real tree to the full height that people want, and those older trees do fine in drought years,” says Hann. “For the customers themselves, they won’t see any impact of the drought one way or another.”

Wisconsin Christmas tree growers have been adapting to unusual weather patterns, such as this summer’s drought, by changing industry common practices.

“Using watering systems is getting more and more common because of this kind of drought,” said Hann. “Twenty years ago, you used to get a day where it rained all day but those seem to be fleeting. Now it’s more of a flash thunderstorm that rolls through and drops an inch of rain. So, we are doing more hose-reel irrigators and even some above-ground pivots.”

The Christmas tree industry also naturally adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic and has been thriving since.

“I think it’s going to be another strong year and we’ll see strong sales. We’re one of the few industries that really thrived during COVID because people could come outside and do an outdoor activity as a family. We’re still seeing very strong sales since then,” says Hann.

Listen to a recent Mid-West Farm Report interview with Greg Hann: