At Mother Earth Gardens, we strive to provide you with responsibly sourced Christmas. We are proud to offer a great selection of sustainably grown, farmed trees from Wisconsin, along with the exciting return of the Organic Free-Range Christmas Trees from the Northwoods of Minnesota.
Ask us about all the different types of trees we carry; we're sure you'll find the perfect one. Trees start arriving just before Thanksgiving.
Organic Free-Range Christmas Trees
These natural balsam fir Organic Free-Range Christmas Trees come direct from Minnesota Northwoods to you. Author and environmentalist Jeff Forester began several years ago to offer these unique pesticide free trees culled from the undergrowth of red and white pine stands to improve land stewardship practices. Jeff owns land adjacent to the BWCAW that he and other northwoods property owners are trying to protect from wildfire. By removing the smaller trees, they not only reduce fuel load, but create openings for white and red pine seedlings. To avoid soil compaction, the fir trees are best cut in the fall and winter, so it makes sense to turn potential waste into a cherished and responsible holiday decoration. In 2013, the state DNR made public land available for harvesting of these trees. Celebrate Christmas with a fragrant north woods Balsam Fir and you will be helping to protect our old growth white pine forests from wildfire.
The Organic Free-Range Christmas Tree is the brainchild of Jeff, author of Forest for the Trees; How Humans Shaped the Northwoods. "The boreal component of fir and spruce is out of whack," he says. Northern Minnesota's conifer forests are clogged with an under story of balsam fir that provide easy fuel for wild fires. The more fuel down low in the forest, the hotter and more damaging the eventual wild fire that occurs. As a result, all fires have become massive conflagrations, killing every tree in the stand. Before European incursion forest fires were far more frequent and much lower intensity.”
Six years into the Organic Free-Range Christmas Tree project, Jeff reports that the land is responding. Areas where these young balsam firs have been culled are showing new white pine growth and more healthy spacing in the understory. The young 7 to 12 foot Balsam Firs make beautiful traditional-looking Christmas Trees. "Christmas is such a magical time," Will Steger notes, "so full of positive emotions. Each tree is a real educational and conversational opportunity, raising awareness of forest ecology in a wonderful way."
Sustainably Farmed Trees from Wisconsin
We are pleased to carry a wide selection of sustainably grown Christmas trees from the family farms of Henry and Gracia Anderson in Osseo, Wisconsin and Wade and Heather Comstock in Balsam Lake, WI.
With a background in the forest service, Henry responsibly manages stands of White Pine, Fraser Fir, Balsam, Eastern balsam and Norway Red Pine. The land and trees are filled with wildlife, with many of the pines left to grow fifty to eighty feet. No herbicides are sprayed on the trees; instead weeds are mowed between stands and integrated pest management is practiced. The soil is tested yearly and fertilizer is hand applied to minimize runoff into waterways.
Wisconsin-raised Wade Comstock began working with trees in 1991 and with Henry in 1993. He started his own tree farm in 2000 after graduating with a degree in Forestry Administration and Utilization. The family operation grows trees on their 150 acres for retail sales, and custom shears trees from other farms as well. The trees we carry from Wade are not sprayed with herbicides.
So which is the best tree to get?
The answer, of course, is the one you love the most.
The Fraser Fir has become a very popular tree due to its short, strong needles, tendency to hold its needles and its compact form. Native to the mountains of the Eastern United States.
The Balsam Fir has an aroma that says “Christmas”. Native to Minnesota and all of Central Eastern North America.
The Eastern Balsam, gaining in popularity, has characteristics of both Fraser and Balsam Firs. Nice smell, good needle habit.
The White Pine has many loyal customers. Its soft, long needles give a different look and feel. Native to Minnesota and all of Central Eastern North America.
The Black Hills, Meyer and Blue Spruce all have a shorter, compact needle and colors that range from blue to cool green. Black Hills Spruce are native to the Upper Midwest.
What does sheared and natural mean? A sheared tree has been shaped by cutting the terminal leader and side branches of the tree to promote denser growth and shape it into the form many of us think of as the traditional Christmas tree. In typical Christmas tree species, usually in the second to fourth year after planting, growth rates accelerate with growth particularly pronounced in the terminal leader and the top whorl of branches. This creates what could be described as a spindly or rangy tree, but is also lovingly called natural. Most of Henry and Wade’s natural trees have had some minimal shearing, but are primarily as you’d find them in the forest. None of the trees are dyed.
Our trees are priced by type and height. Most people favor a tree that is between 6 and 8 feet tall. We offer trees as short at 4 feet reaching over 12 feet tall.
HENRY AND WADE'S SUSTAINABLY GROWN CHRISTMAS TREES
6–7 ft tall range from $35-$65 depending on the type of tree and height. The overall price range is from $25–$100 depending on height and type.
organic free-range christmas trees
6–7 ft tall range cost $25 and the overall price range is $15–$45 depending on the height.
Come on over and take a look. We'd be happy to help you select and load your perfect tree!