MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – To buy a real or artificial Christmas tree? – that’s the question asked by many Minnesotans this time of year.

Gov. Mark Dayton opted for a real tree as a freshly cut balsam fir was delivered to his home in St. Paul Monday. And while you’re probably not shopping for a 50-foot tree, you might be surprised to know that the wet spring and summer created the lushest pines Minnesota has ever seen.

Bill Brabec and his colleagues at the Silver Bell Tree Farm in Farmington, Minn., said the rain made all the difference.

“With the rainfall, we had outstanding growth in the trees. Each of these trees probably grew 7-12 inches,” Brabec said.

Brabec said the rain also turned his trees a deeper green.

Paul Hugunin, coordinator for Minnesota Grown, says while usually it’s a 50/50 split between those who opt to buy real trees over fake trees, the industry is hoping this year’s blockbuster crop will tip the scale.

“At times like this when it’s been a little bit rough for our economy, anything we can do to keep our dollars here in our local community is a great thing,” he said.

Will this year’s real trees be more expensive?

No. It takes 8-12 years for a tree to reach the market, so the actual quantity of trees harvested isn’t affected. That’s the reason the price won’t be affected.

Also, a little warning when you’re putting the tree on the car: They say because of all this added moisture, you’ll notice the trees are a bit heavier this year.


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