Choose a Local Christmas Tree

Choose a Local Christmas Tree

Choose a Local Christmas Tree, Acreage Insights - December 2017, http://communityenvironment.unl.edu/choose-local-christmas-tree

It’s the holiday season, with lights, holiday displays which almost always include a Christmas tree. Getting a fresh tree from a local farm is an enjoyable experience for the family to do together.

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There are 25 Christmas tree farms in Nebraska. A few of the farms located in southeast Nebraska include: 

  • Pinecrest Tree Farm in Blue Springs,
  • Kohout’s Christmas Trees near Dorchester,
  • Walnut Grove Tree Farm in Raymond, or
  • Prairie Woods in Hallam, to name a few.

These and many more are listed in the Nebraska Christmas Tree Growers Association or the Nebraska Deparment of Agriculture's Christmas Tree Growers Directory. Visit the site to locate a tree farm near you. 

It takes about 7 years for a Christmas tree farmer to grow his or her trees from seedlings to retail sale height, which is about 6 feet, according to the Nebraska Christmas Tree Growers Association. They also say that for every real Christmas tree harvested, 2-3 seedlings are planted in its place. This helps to ensure future years of tree sales and tree replacement is always a good practice.

The most common tree species used for Christmas trees in Nebraska include: Balsam Fir, Blue Spruce, Concolor Fir, Douglas-Fir, Fraser Fir, Scotch Pine, or Eastern White Pine.

Tree Selection & Care
When choosing your Christmas tree, choose one that suits your room size and desires of your family. Make sure that it will fit in the room you plan to place it in and that it won’t overtake the room. It might be a good idea to take a few measurements before leaving home. 

Be sure to keep live trees watered throughout the holiday season. If they don’t have water they will dry out quickly and not look as fresh and beautiful. When you purchase a real Christmas tree, be sure to make a new cut on the trunk of the tree to open up the stem for water uptake.

Christmas trees rarely, if ever, start fires in our homes, except in the famous National Lampoon's "Christmas Vacation", but they need to be watered to help them retain their color and keep your floor from getting too messy from fallen needles. Even if they don’t start fires, it is best to place your tree in your home away from fireplaces, air ducts, and televisions.

Recycle Your Tree
After the holiday season, it is best to recycle your Christmas tree. There are many ways to recycle your trees that give it better use than just taking it to the local landfill or burn pile.

Many people take their trees out to local lakes to the areas designated for Christmas tree recycling. The trees are placed on the ice in the winter and when the ice melts in the spring, they fall into the lake for fish habitat.

You can also chip your old tree and use it for mulch in your garden in the spring. These recycling methods will help you to enjoy your Christmas tree all year long.

Nicole Stoner
Nicole Stoner
Extension Educator - Horticulture

As a professional horticulturist, Nicole's focus areas include trees, shrubs, lawns, gardens, and insects.

Gage County Extension
1115 West Scott
Beatrice, NE
68310-3514
402-223-1384

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