Minnesota Christmas tree growers are gearing up for another season of high quality Christmas trees, thanks to excellent growing conditions throughout the year.

Look for tree farms and lots opening this Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.

“The trees are beautiful! Rain came at a really great time and trees are looking awesome. This is a good year,” said the president of the Minnesota Christmas Tree Association and owner of Cornerstone Pines, Kathy Parker. “Buying Minnesota Grown Christmas trees helps to keep dollars at work in your community. Minnesota trees support Minnesota people.”

Purchasing a real Christmas tree is also an option for consumers to support the environment, according to Parker. Christmas tree farms replant multiple seedlings for every tree cut. During their seven to 10-year growth period, seedlings pull carbon dioxide from the air and provide habitat for wildlife. Purchasing your tree from a local producer also reduces travel and increases product freshness. After the holiday season, real trees are also recyclable and biodegradable, Parker said.

Minnesota Grown Spokesman Paul Hugunin said buying locally helps farmers. “Producers have reported sales of real Christmas trees are trending upward these last couple of years. Making your purchases local keeps small business owners and family operations in business for generations,” he said.

Tree growers point out other benefits as well. Doug Hoffbauer of Balsam Wreaths and Christmas Trees in Duluth said, “It isn’t so much about the tree. We are selling traditions, 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 such a beautiful tradition for your family!”

Many tree farms offer fun family activities including sleigh rides, games, gift shops, and visits with Santa. Visit the Minnesota Grown website to see which Christmas tree farm Santa will visit next. The Minnesota Grown Directory has 56 Christmas tree farms and retail tree lots. Find one near you online at www.MinnesotaGrown.com, or order a free printed directory by calling 1-800-657-3878.