The Thursday before Thanksgiving, Scott Schuett of Schuett Farms brought about 1,000 trees back from Crivitz in time for the opening of their Christmas tree lot on Highway 83, Mukwonago. The lot opened on Black Friday and had a busy weekend as customers took advantage of mild weather to pick out their trees.

The nearly perfect weather this summer produced plenty of great-looking trees, according to Cheryl Nicholson, executive secretary of the Wisconsin Christmas Tree Producers Association.

There are more than 850 Christmas tree farms in Wisconsin, according to the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation. Those searching for the ultimate holiday experience by cutting their own tree can visit several farms in the Burlington, East Troy and Dousman area.

Sugar Creek Farm and Valley View Farm in Burlington provide cut-your-own and fresh-cut or pre-cut trees. Riehle's Tree Farm in Dousman has a large variety of cut-your-own trees. Evergreen Acres in East Troy sells fraser fir cut-your-own or pre-cut.

Besides creating memories and family traditions, cutting a real tree benefits the economy and environment.

“A real Christmas tree is a better environmental option because real trees are a recyclable and renewable resource,” said Amy Eckelberg, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation spokesperson. “With the trend of consumers showing their preference for local products and many are attracted to the tradition of celebrating Christmas with a real tree in their home.”

Schuett Farms has been providing pre-cut trees for people in the Mukwonago area since 2006, when Scott Schuett started selling trees. They started with about 125 trees the first year. Every year they have customers who visited the farm for pumpkins return to buy a Christmas trees, Schuett said.

Fraser fir is the nation's most popular Christmas tree, according to the Schuett Farms website. The fragrant, sturdy boughs have excellent needle retention and the ability to hold heavy ornaments. Schuett also sells Balsam, Canaan fir, Scotch pine, and White pine, which is a good tree for people who suffer from allergic reactions.

For every real Christmas tree harvested, two to three seedlings are planted. Tree farms also make a great place for wildlife to live.

Even after Christmas, the real trees can be recycled into mulch to be used on trails or gardens. Some cut trees are used as soil erosion barriers, wildlife habitats or placed in ponds for fish shelters, according to the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.

Last year Schuett said he sold out of trees. If there are trees left over, Schuett said he donates some to the Salvation Army and the rest to Wern Valley to provide cover for pheasants.

Visit christmastrees-wi.org for a complete list of Wisconsin Christmas tree farms.

Tips for selecting a tree can be found on the National Christmas Tree Producers Association website at realchristmastrees.org.

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