Hoffbauer Tree Farm Helping Keep Holiday Traditions Alive

The Hoffbauer's Hope to Be Open Through Dec. 20, or Until Supplies Last

DULUTH, Minn. – It’s oftentimes a family tradition. For others, it could be a year of new beginnings.

Picking out the Christmas tree brings back memories for many, and for one local family, they’re just happy to help make it all happen.

“You’ll be overwhelmed by the fragrance which would be the smell of the balsam and a little bit of wood smoke,” said Farmer Doug, owner of Hoffbauer Tree Farm.

Charlie Brown would be overwhelmed, and overjoyed.

“A lot of people say, ‘Oh it reminds me of going to the cabin or it reminds me of going camping.’” Said Farmer Doug.

For the Hoffbauer’s, the holiday season is the Super Bowl of their business.

“We call it goods from the wood.”

For more than 20 years, the Northland natives have been selling smiles and promoting holiday traditions.

“My son Jesse and I, we grow all the trees we have here,” said Farmer Doug. “It’s fun and everybody’s in a good mood.”

Each tree sold sprouts from the 50 acres of land the Hoffbauers have located just outside the city of Duluth.

“The kissing balls there to your side; they’re made out of Korean Fir,” said Farmer Doug. “We have the Siberian Fir and it smells like tangerines.”

Aside from trees, consumers can also pick from a variety of handcrafted holiday decorations.

“How can you not get in the Christmas spirit,” said Farmer Doug.

For the Nordman’s and many others, this is not a normal year. They’re hoping a trip to the tree farm brings joy during these uncertain times.

“Since we’re not going to do Thanksgiving this year, we’re hoping it’ll carry us through,” said Julie Nordman, a resident of Cloquet. “We’ve been doing this for a few years now and we just love their trees. It makes it worth it having to come all the way down here to get a nice fresh tree for Christmas.”

Nearly five years ago, Julie and her husband Brett made the switch from artificial to actual branches with a fresh scent attached.

“For me, it’s the smell – the smell of a fresh tree. Getting to decorate it is amazing; it just puts you in that feeling of holidays, family, and all that great stuff,” said Nordman.

They not only enjoy the experience but also appreciate the education that comes along with their prized purchase.

“We had more of an idea of what we didn’t want; we tried a new tree last year and didn’t like it,” said Nordman.

“I think we have the most knowledgeable people in the area on trees because it is our passion,” said Farmer Doug.

With 11 variations of trees to choose from, it’s Farmer Doug’s duty to help your family pick the best of the freshly cut to help spruce up your holidays.

“To see the smile on the kids, you can tease the kids a little bit, you can ask them what Santa’s going to bring them, and they get all excited, and that’s what brings a sparkle to my eye too,” said Farmer Doug.

“If you’re ready to decorate for Christmas, do it. Do something that’s going to give you the joy of feeling more normalcy than we’ve felt in a really long time. Do what makes you happy at this point,” said Nordman.

Farmer Doug’s tree lot is located on East 3rd Street in Duluth.

They ask customers to practice social distancing guidelines and wear a mask.

You can pick out your tree weekdays from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., or on weekends from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

The Hoffbauer’s are hoping to be open through Dec. 20, or until their supply is sold out.

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