The holidays are approaching which means it is time to start searching for your Michigan grown Christmas tree!
Michigan ranks third in the nation for Christmas tree production and supplies approximately 2 million fresh trees to the national market each year. Our growers also produce a wide variety of tree species – more than any other state! That means you have many options to choose from when selecting your perfect tree: soft Frasier firs, blue-green Blue spruce, citrus scented Concolor firs and many more!
In addition to their beauty and fresh scent, real Michigan Christmas trees are environmentally friendly and keep local farm families in business. Most Christmas trees are in the field for eight years providing wildlife habitat, adding oxygen to the atmosphere, and sequestering carbon. At the end of the holiday season, real Christmas trees, unlike fake trees, can also be recycled or composted.
To help you in your quest for that perfect tree, visit the Michigan Christmas Tree Association’s website to search for the “choose and cut” or retail locations in your area. The website also lists each farm’s amenities (i.e. tree bailing and shaking, gift shops for fresh wreaths and centerpieces, refreshment stands for delicious donuts or hot chocolate) so you can better plan your trip.
When visiting a “choose and cut” farm or a retail lot, make sure you’re prepared. Plan to take your time so you and your family can create precious memories and check the farm’s website to see if you need to bring any supplies. And don’t forget to bundle up! Being cold can quickly turn a pleasant outdoor experience sour so be sure to wear a hat, gloves, a warm coat and sturdy shoes.
Once you’ve finally found your perfect holiday tree, keep these tips in mind to ensure that it stays beautiful throughout the holidays:
- Pick a fresh tree. Examine the tree and make sure that it is not already losing needles. If it is, choose a different tree.
- Give it a Trim. Once your tree is home, cut at least an inch off the bottom of the trunk before placing it in the stand.
- Mind the Location. Avoid heat sources, such as fireplaces and heat registers, that will dry out your tree.
- Water, Please. Give your tree fresh water, often. Check the tree stand daily and do not let it go dry.
Christmas tree farms and retail lots are open starting Thanksgiving weekend. Farms will be following safe practice requirements directed by the State of Michigan in regards to COVID-19. Visit MCTA.org for a “choose and cut” farm or retail lot near you.
Learn more about the Michigan Christmas Tree Association on their website: mcta.org
Written by Kelly Wilson, RDN, Director of Community Partners for Taste the Local Difference, and Amy Start, Executive Director of the Michigan Christmas Tree Association.