Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig says there are plenty of Iowa locations to find that ideal fir, spruce or pine.
“We’ve got over 100 Christmas tree farms across the state and those farms produce or sell about 40,000 Christmas trees each year,” Naig says. “It’s a wonderful way to have some fun, get outdoors and support a local farm.” It takes between six-and-12 years to grow a Christmas tree and most tree farms in Iowa are three-to-eight acres in size. Most sell trees by the choose-and-harvest method, where customers come to the farm and cut their own trees.
Naig says the big boom in the tree business started late last week and will continue well into the final month of the year. “Our Christmas tree farms do a great clip of business here starting on Thanksgiving weekend and over the next couple of weekends,” Naig says. “I think folks do very, very well and most of the Christmas tree growers that I visit with have more demand than supplies.”
Speaking from personal experience, Naig offers a little advice about picking the perfect pine. “Something that we sure didn’t do as well as we should have the first time we did this, make sure you cut the right size Christmas tree,” Naig says. “Make sure you know the size of the spot in the house. It seems to look different when it’s outdoors versus when it’s in the house.”
Once you get your tree home, remember to check the water daily as trees can use up to a gallon of water every day. Also, make sure you unplug any tree lights before you leave home or go to bed. The Christmas tree industry contributes about one-million dollars to Iowa’s economy each year.
(By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)