ST. PAUL, Minn. — Rum River Tree Farm, the 2017 Minnesota State Fair Grand Champion Christmas Tree winner, has donated the 20 foot balsam fir standing outside the Minnesota State Capitol Building. The 2017 Christmas tree is the first donated since the grand reopening of the newly renovated Capitol Building.
Dan Almendinger, second generation owner of Rum River Tree Farm, encourages Minnesotans to find a locally grown Christmas tree as the 2017 season opens statewide.
“It’s a fantastic year to come out and treat your family to a real Christmas tree,” said Almendinger, one of 66 Minnesota Grown Christmas tree growers.
For Christmas tree growers all over the state, the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas offer a chance to provide local families with a unique holiday experience.
“It isn’t so much about the tree,” said Doug Hoffbauer of Balsam Wreaths & Christmas Trees. “This is about creating special holiday memories and experiences. Come out to the farm and let your kids be a part of choosing your tree, even if it isn’t perfect. You are building a beautiful tradition for your family.”
Each Minnesota Grown Christmas tree farm offers a unique setting; many also offer free family-friendly activities like sleigh rides, visits with Santa, and nature walks. By cutting a locally grown tree, families also get a chance to visit an operational farm.
Like other renewable crops, Christmas trees are grown specifically for harvest. For every tree harvested, Christmas tree farmers plant an average of one to three seedlings in its place. Trees can take eight to 12 years to grow to market height. During the growth period, farmers must provide water and nutrients, and shear the trees to ensure they grow in the proper shape. After the holiday season, Christmas trees may also be recycled, as they are 100 percent natural.
The Rum River Tree Farm Christmas tree has been strung with lights by the Capitol’s Grounds staff.
Visit the Minnesota Grown website to find a Christmas tree grower in your area at www.minnesotagrown.com/
— Minnesota Department of Agriculture
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