A 30-foot-tall white spruce, selected as the state’s official Christmas tree, was cut down Friday, Nov. 17 in the General C.C. Andrews State Forest, near Willow River.
The tree was scheduled to be set up at the governor’s residence, 1006 Summit Ave., St. Paul, around 9 a.m., today, Monday, Nov. 20. The tree will be lit Monday, Nov. 27.
DNR staff and the Conservation Corps of Minnesota cut the tree on the Friday before Thanksgiving each year from one of 59 state forests. However, the search for just the right tree begins months before. DNR foresters keep an eye out for a tall tree that’s nicely shaped and well filled out. It also needs to be in a location where it will not be damaged when dropped and then easily pulled out and loaded onto a trailer.
Minnesota’s state forests provide clean air and water, recreational opportunities, wildlife habitat, timber and special forest products. This year, small businesses are making 150,000 wreaths with balsam boughs harvested from state forest lands.
The estimated annual sales for Minnesota companies producing holiday wreaths exceed $23 million and Minnesota’s public lands support a large share of this economic activity.
Each holiday season, half a million Christmas trees are harvested from private tree farms in Minnesota, contributing about $30 million to the state’s economy. For each tree harvested, one to three trees are planted. Real Christmas trees store carbon during their lifespan. They can be chipped for mulch when the season is over, making them an environmentally friendly choice.
More information and details on viewing the tree is at www.mndnr.gov/forestry/state-christmas-tree.html.