Frequently Asked Questions

What are your hours?

Friday, Saturday, & Sunday:  9am – 7pm
Monday-Thursday:  12pm – 7pm
(reservation availability may impact hours)
NOTE:  The cut-your-own fields close at 4:30pm daily

How much are your trees?

We price the trees individually based on the height, specie, and overall quality of the tree.  The price ranges are listed on our homepage.  Trees 9’ and higher will be more per foot as these trees take much longer to grow to maturity. 

Are your trees expensive?

Our trees are priced slightly higher than “Big Box” stores or corner lots.  However, we believe our trees provide far greater value.  The price on our trees includes the experience of buying your tree from a local farm and local farmers close to the Twin Cities, including free hot cider, custom annualized ornament, tree shaking, fresh cut, baling, tootsie rolls, and we tie your tree on your vehicle for you.  Many other farms charge extra for these services! 

Are advanced reservations required?

Yes, reservations are required all season for both pre-cut and cut-your-own trees.  Customers can pre-register for a time on our website.  This allows you to select a time that works best for you.  Reservations help balance the volume at the farm and reduces crowds, waiting in lines at checkout and tie-on, and increases safety.  As our business has grown it is the best way for us to manage parking and the limited number of trees we have for sale each year.  It also helps us communicate the remaining tree availability to you before you drive to the farm.  More info is on our Reservations page.

How close is your farm to the Twin Cities?

We are one of the closest farms to the Twin Cities.  We are located in the east metro town of Lake Elmo.  It is less than a 30 minute drive from most places in the metro area and western Wisconsin.  We are 30 minutes from downtown Minneapolis and 20 minutes from downtown St. Paul.  Please see our directions for specific information.

What types of trees do you sell?

We have Balsam Fir, Fraser Fir, Canaan Fir, White Pine, and Norway Pine.  We are also starting to grow some Siberian Fir and Korean Fir.  Each year’s harvest can be variable so check our homepage for more detailed availability.  Here are some more information about each specie.

Do you have tall trees available?

Yes, we have sheared trees up to 10′ tall.  We have a few trees in the 10′-13′ range but they are less sheared so they are less dense/full and thus more reasonable to handle.  Check our Homepage throughout the season for updated tree availability.

Do we need to bring our own saw?

We have many hand saws available to use.  We do not allow power saws at the farm for safety reasons.  We also have large sleds to pull your tree with.

Is it okay if we bring our dog?

Yes, dogs are welcome at the farm but please make sure they stay on a leash.  Also use a doggy-bag to clean up after them and dispose of it in the garbage (not in the fields!).

What forms of payment do you accept?

Please pay with credit cards or checks only (no cash).  We accept Visa, Mastercard, and American Express.  Despite the extra fees for credit cards this is the the best approach for our business instead of handling cash and change.  

Can we drive in the fields?

No, we don’t allow vehicles in the fields for safety reasons.  Please park in the main parking lot and either walk into the fields or ride the wagon.  We have specialized sleds to use to pull your tree in from the fields.

How far away are the cut-your-own fields?

The distance to the farthest possible field is 1/3 (0.33) of a mile.  Since we rotate our fields that field is cut once every 8 years.  All the other fields are closer than that, with an average distance of 0.16 of a mile (300 yards).  

Will someone help us with our tree?

Yes, we are a full service shop.  Once you have selected your tree from our retail lot or brought the tree in from the field we will shake, bale (wrap), make a fresh cut, and tie your tree on your vehicle (no extra charge!).  The cut-your-own fields are just that…you cut your own but we’ll process it back at the barn.

Why do you only tag a limited amount of cut-your-own trees?

Each year we only tag trees that are ready to be harvested.  This helps ensure a supply of trees in future years.  There is an 8-10 year growth cycle for each field.  That’s 32-40 seasons of nature’s variables the trees experience!  Check our Homepage throughout the season for updated cut-your-own information.

What does the Tree ID on the price tags mean?

Every tree for sale has a unique “Tree ID” on the price tag.  It’s used to match your tree with the 2-part sales tag in the tie-on area.  Instead of a serial “number” we use a serial “name”.  The name makes it easier for us to process your tree.  It also personifies your tree a bit and makes the tree search more interesting!  The names are randomly assigned and are famous or notable people or places throughout history…athletes, scientists, explorers, artists, civil rights leaders, inventors, local leaders, heroes, etc.  Some are very well known, others may take some investigation.  Google the name to learn more!

Do you allow customers to pre-tag their tree before the season?

No, we don’t allow pre-tagging.  We use a reservation system for pre-cut and cut-your-own trees to balance our staffing, parking, and crowds.  

Do you have lighting so we can shop after dark?

Yes, we can display over 200 trees in our lighted tree lot.  However, OUR CUT-YOUR-OWN FIELDS ARE CLOSED AT 4:30 PM.

What do you sell besides trees?

We also offer a wide variety of hand-made wreaths (24″, 36″, 48″), tree stands, dogwood, roping/garland, spruce tops, table top trees, tree bags, and other items.

Do you have a drill machine for spike stands?

Yes, we do have a drill machine for stands that use a ~4-5″ metal spike to hold the tree.  The drill bit is slightly tapered and is meant for the Mitchell brand spike stand but it will likely work for other types of spike stands but we can’t guarantee that it will.  We previously sold this stand at the farm but have now changed to a non-spike design (Cinco brand).  We do the drilling at no charge, but let us know you need your tree drilled as we don’t do it for every tree (just at customer request).

Do you allow picnics or parties?

No, parties and picnics are not allowed due to space constraints.  This includes the parking lot, tree lot area, tree fields, and woods.  Tobacco products or alcohol are not allowed anywhere on the farm.

Do you sell food or drinks at the farm?

We don’t have food or drinks for sale although we provide free hot cider.  We strongly encourage you to explore the local Lake Elmo restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores, and deli’s before or after visiting the farm.  The farm is less than a mile from downtown Lake Elmo with it’s classic main street where many of these businesses are located.  

Is the farm handicap accessible?

We do our best to make sure the tree farm experience is available to and enjoyable for everyone.  As a working tree farm, in addition to variable outdoor weather elements, there are some challenges to this.  We have designated and posted handicapped parking spots at the front (north end) of the parking lot near the welcome/info station.  Most of the pre-cut lot area is flat or gently sloping and accessible.  The ground cover is gravel in the high traffic areas and grass in most other areas, including the fields.  We work hard to mow and maintain field accessibility but there are inherently areas of uneven ground, stumps, gopher mounds, etc.  Please email us ahead of time if you have any questions or individual needs.  Or talk to our staff (in red coats) about how we can best assist you.  We want to make the farm inclusive, safe, and fun for everyone!  We also welcome any feedback you have on how we can improve your farm experience.  

Should we bring a trailer to load our tree on?

In general we recommend and request that you DON’T bring your trailer.  We are able to load 99% of the trees we sell onto your vehicle.  The exceptions are any extremely large and/or heavy trees (13’+, etc).  Over the years we’ve learned many tips and tricks for loading!  We are also very careful with your tree to avoid any damage or scratching.  If you want to be extra sure an old blanket under the tree is an option but usually not needed.  The main limiting factor is the weight of the tree.  99% of trees are not heavy enough to cause concern but some excessively large trees (ex. full 12’+ Frasers) may be pushing the weight limit of your vehicles roof and roof rack capacity.  We’ve never had any issues in all our years but please be aware of this risk.  Additionally, our parking lot is limited in space so parking may be more difficult with a trailer.

Do you have unsheared or open trees?

Yes, we do we have trees that are more lightly sheared in addition to full or densely shaped trees.  These trees are also sometimes called “open”, “natural”, “traditional”, or “Victorian”.  Basically this means there is more spacing between the branches.  Each tree is also more unique in their shape and easier to decorate.  More and more customers are asking for that open style so we don’t shear our trees as tightly as some other farms.  Shearing is a process that happens in July of each year where we need to shape each tree in every field with a long knife.  Within any field there usually a mix of open and dense trees, a result of our shearing as well as genetic differences between individual trees, soil conditions, north/south facing slopes, etc.  There is a wide spectrum of people’s definition of what “unsheared” trees look like, and in general this means there needs to be a small degree of shearing to create a basic shape as well as branches that are strong enough to hold ornaments.  We have also started a field in a meadow in our woods that will be fully unsheared.  It will be a couple more years until they are ready for harvest, though.  

Do you sell potted trees for Christmas or landscaping?

No, we don’t sell potted trees for nursery stock (landscaping) or Christmas trees.  We don’t do nursery stock because we spend most of our spring and summer months focused on growing Christmas trees.  We don’t do potted Christmas trees because of the low rate of survival.  Getting a potted tree and then replanted it in the spring is a great idea in theory but trees in Minnesota are used to shutting down in the winter.  They often won’t survive the transition from inside to outside.  It works better in the southern and warmer states where the temperature extremes are less.  

Do you have discounted or free trees?

There are trees of nearly every price range in our fields and pre-cut lot.  if you can’t find a tree at the price point you can afford, or if you know someone that is struggling a bit this year and can’t afford a tree, please ask for Neil or John at the farm.  We understand that financial struggles are real for many families and we want to do whatever we can to make sure they get a Christmas tree in their home this year. 

Do you recycle trees after the holiday season?

Yes!  We invite our customers to bring their tree back to the farm anytime after the Christmas season.  There will be a central location in our parking lot where you can drop off your tree.  In the early spring we will chip up these trees and use the chips for mulch around the newly planted seedlings.  100% of last years tree can help nurture the next generation of trees!  Many towns and cities also sponsor tree recycling programs for their residents.  We encourage you to explore these options as well if it is more convenient for you.

Is your farm organic?

Although we aren’t certified organic, we use farming practices that are as environmentally friendly and sustainable as possible.  For instance, we take the extra time to heavily mulch our trees with wood chips to reduce weed growth and retain soil moisture instead of relying on chemicals and irrigation.  We also rotate each field and use cover crops to build up the soil nutrients instead of relying on fertilizers.  There are times, however, when we have used herbicides for excessive weed growth and irrigation during extreme dry periods but only when other sustainable means weren’t effective.

How long do Christmas trees take to grow?

In general, the trees grow about one foot per year.  So a typical 8 foot tree takes about 8-10 years to grow.  Fraser and Korean firs take longer.  This growth rate can be faster or slower depending on the weather, soil conditions, and rainfall over tree’s life.  The trees grow slowly over the first few years as they establish their root systems.  They grow quite quickly the last couple years before harvest. 

Are real trees better for the environment than artificial trees?

There have been two Life Cycle Assessments (LCA’s) commissioned to compare the environmental impacts of real trees versus artificial trees.  These LCA’s are reviewed and summarized here.  There are many factors that impact the environmental effects of both types of trees, but in general an artificial tree needs to be re-used approximately 20 years to equal the impact of real trees annually.  And this is independent of the incredible benefits of supporting local farmers and farms!

Are artificial trees better than real trees?

We are obviously biased on this question, but from an objective standpoint there are many advantages of real versus artificial trees.  First, our trees are grown locally; most artificial trees come from factories across the world.  Second, real trees turn carbon dioxide into oxygen; the manufacturing of artificial trees releases volatile gasses and chemicals into the environment.  Third, real trees are biodegradable and recyclable; most artificial trees cannot be recycled and end up in landfills.  Finally, real trees provide habitat and protection for wildlife during their 8+ year lives!

Other questions?

Many additional questions can be answered at the National Christmas Tree Growers website or the MN Christmas Tree Association website.  Or feel free to contact us.