Every December, thousands of Iowans visit a Christmas tree farm hoping to find the perfect pine for their home. Iowa has just over 100 "choose and cut" Christmas tree farms, with 2,500 acres in production.
Jan Pacovsky is executive director of the Iowa Christmas Tree Growers Association, which was formed in 1963.
She and her husband run Pine Acres Tree Farm in New Hampton. "We always tell our customers and friends that we live Christmas all year round at our house," Pacovsky said. "There are different times of the year that you’re doing things out at the tree farm, so it seems like there’s something going on out there all the time."
Nine varities of Christmas trees are commonly grown in Iowa. Pacovsky says the most popular trees are the White Pine, Scotch Pine, Fraser Fir and Balsam Fir. The Fraser seems to be the pick for those that prefer a "classic, old-fashioned" looking Christmas tree. Pacovsky says the economic downtown isn’t stopping Iowans from getting a real tree this year.
"Pretty much, we’re on track," Pacovsky told Radio Iowa. "I don’t think (the economy) is really hurting (tree sales)…like they said about the shopping on Black Friday, I think really when it comes to Christmas and families, you’re still going to see the activity there." Pacovsky says running a Christmas tree farm is a year round job and it takes about seven years to grow a tree tall enough for retail sale. Most trees sold in the state cost anywhere from $25 to $65.