Christmas tree farms anticipate healthy trees, strong sales

by Brenda Langton, Tastemaker in Residence

Buy your Christmas tree from your local farmer's market; it supports the small farmer's and provides a more intimate buying experience!

Buy your local Christmas tree at the Mill City Farmers Market’s December Holiday Markets!

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Minnesota and Wisconsin Christmas tree growers are gearing up for a season of high-quality Christmas trees, thanks to favorable conditions during the 2016 growing season. Nistler Farms will once again be offering chemical-free Christmas trees, spruce tops, birch logs and other holiday decorations at the Mill City Farmers Market’s December markets. On December 3rd, 10th, and 17th, you can find Jeff Nistler at the front door of the Mill City Museum from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. with a variety of trees, including Fraser firs (5-9ft) and wild balsam (9-11ft)! Jeff and his staff will be offering delivery to market neighbors, tree stands, fresh cuts, rope and even biodegradable tree bags.

“I’m really excited to bring trees Saturday,” says Nistler, who was still harvesting tomatoes from his farm for the Thanksgiving market on November 19th. “Some folks are coming out to the farm this morning to buy trees because they can't be there Saturday.”

Christmas tree growers recommend cutting the base of the trunk before placing trees in their stands, making it easier to soak up water. Using a sturdy stand that can hold at least one gallon of water ensures stability and provides an ample water supply during the first few hours the tree is standing. Avoid placing the tree near heaters, air vents, and south-facing windows and be sure to check that your lights are in good condition.

Choosing a locally grown Christmas tree not only provides a beautiful centerpiece for holiday celebrations, it also supports local economies, benefiting family tree farmers. Christmas tree farms replant multiple seedlings for every tree cut. During the 7-10 year growth period of an average Christmas tree, seedlings pull carbon dioxide from the air and provide habitat for wildlife. Purchasing a tree from a local producer also guarantees shorter distance traveled and fresher trees. After the holiday season, real trees are biodegradable and can be recycled or used as biomass, a renewable form of energy. 

There will be over 45 other farmers, food vendors and local artists at the Mill City Farmers Market’s December Holiday Markets, offering greenhouse and storage vegetables, pasture-raised meat & eggs, farmstead cheeses, artisan bread, seasonal preserves, and unique gifts for family, coworkers, and friends! Plus, on December 10th the market is partnering with “Winterfest on 2nd Street”, with horse drawn carriage rides, a festive photo booth, hot chocolate and cookies, caroling with Friends of the Mill District Singers, and a warm clothing drive for YouthLink MN.

Founded in 2006 by acclaimed local chef Brenda Langton and the Mill City Museum, Mill City Farmers Market has earned a reputation for its promotion of healthy eating and sustainable agriculture. The market is located inside the Mill City Museum in downtown Minneapolis November through April. Find the winter market schedule and seasonal recipes at

For questions and to pre-order your tree from Nistler Farms contact Jeff Nistler at or 612-816-3653. ###

Photo credit: Mill City Times