By Heather Brown

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — For many families, it’s an annual tradition. You cut down your Christmas tree at the same place, year after year. You may see the little trees on the way to find the big ones.

So, how are Christmas trees grown? Good Question. We headed to Krueger’s Christmas Trees in Lake Elmo. Deb and Neil Krueger have sold Christmas trees there for 35 years.

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“It takes 10 years to get a six-foot tree,” Deb said. “It’s a long, patient time. You’ve got to really love what you’re doing.”

All the trees start from a seed.

“If you shake a pine cone, all those little seeds,” she said.

They spend two years in a local nursery bed.

(credit: CBS)

“Being tiny babies, and then they spend another year or two in a transplant bed, and then we get them,” Deb said.

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Deb and Neil planted some three year olds this past spring, using one-acre plots of land.

“My husband prepares the soil, plows … I till,” she said. “And then we have a whole crew, friends and family and whatever, and we replant. We plant about 5,000 or 6,000 a year.”

They always rotate the type of tree, and any leftovers go to a good home.

“Our trees here have gone to Como Zoo, but generally there’s [not many left],” Deb said. “We’ve got it down to a science.”

The Kruegers just have one tree in their home, but things were quite different back in the day.

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“Each kid had their own tree, and we had a tree in the kitchen with cookie cutters, we had a tree in the parlor, but now we just have one,” she said. “But we’ve got 30,000 out here, so.”

Heather Brown