The Making of a Christmas Tree

Christmas is 180 days away although you may think its too soon to start planning your holiday if you want the perfect balsam fir or the classic Charlie Brown tree, nows the time for trimming. 

PROCTOR, Minn.-  Christmas in July has passed and it’s not quite December but one family owned business thinks about decking the halls all year long.

Christmas is 180 days away although you may think its too soon to start planning your holiday if you want the perfect balsam fir or the classic Charlie Brown tree, nows the time for trimming.

“Just walk around each tree, you’re just trying to give it that nice uniform shape,” Hoffbauer Tree Farm co-owner Jesse Hoffbauer said.

This process is called pruning.

“When we’re done shearing them here this is what they will look like in December and November,” Hoffbauer Tree Farm co-owner Doug Hoffbauer said.

Shearing the branches to keep the trees healthy, can take up to 400 hours.

“It is very therapeutic, calming quiet,” Jesse said.

The Hoffbauers have pruning down to a science after many years of perfecting the tedious skill.

But despite all the hard work, these tree farmers say it’s the rewarding part of the process.

“Minutes into it you can see that immediate change and how you improved that tree,” Jesse said.

The tree farm has been a part of the family for more than a quarter century now.

but this is the first year they’re sending two trees to compete in the Minnesota State Fair.

“I think we’ll compete really well,” Doug said.

The Hoffbauers have nearly 30 acres of land and 11 different types of trees to choose from…

But Doug knows people from certain areas enjoy different styles.

“Up here people look for a little bit more open tree, a little looser tree than what the Twin Cities market demands,” Doug said.

But the Hoffbauers say competing at the state fair is all apart of good family fun.

“It’s great because when you work with family you know who’s best suited at a certain task,” Doug said.

And for the first time this winter, families can visit the tree farm and cut down their own.

“We’re in the business of growing traditions, not trees,” Doug said.

The Hoffbauer Farm will sell trees at the Farmers Market in Duluth starting November 20th. For more information on the farm visit Hoffbauer Tree Farm.

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