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Christmas tree farmers adopt COVID-19 rules

Minnesota Christmas tree growers are hard at work readying for the holidays with new precautions in place to help buyers have a fun and safe experience, whether looking for hand-crafted wreaths, pre-cut trees or cut-your-own trees, according to a press release.

Growers statewide have changed aspects of their tree-buying experience to reflect safety concerns during the pandemic — ranging from face mask and social distancing requirements for in-person shopping, to ordering your Christmas tree online and having it delivered to your home.

Hinkemeyer Tree Farm in Rice has added a delivery feature to its 2020 operation.

“People value convenience, and this year, in the midst of a pandemic, safety is of utmost importance,” said co-owner Cheryl Thiele. “We feel that our delivery service will bring holiday joy to people, while making it easy and convenient to get fresh, beautiful decor.”

Growers welcoming buyers to their farms this year may ask that only one family member come up to the cashier to complete the purchase process. Others may choose not to open their gift shop this year. In spite of these and other changes, your local Christmas tree buying experience can still be enjoyable this holiday season, the release stated.

Beyond supporting the local economy, the Christmas tree industry also provides environmental benefits to the state of Minnesota. Christmas tree farms plant as many as three new seedlings for each tree that is cut down. As they grow, the trees act as a carbon sink: pulling carbon dioxide out of the air.

Additionally, the trees can provide habitat for wildlife. Local trees travel a short distance to the customer to maintain freshness and reduce their carbon footprint further. They can also be recycled after the holiday season.

The Minnesota Grown directory lists more than 60 Christmas tree farms and retail tree lots. Customers can easily find a fresh, local Christmas tree using the directory at MinnesotaGrown.com or order a free printed copy by calling 1-888-TOURISM.