ZUMBRO FALLS, Minn. - This is the 5th year the Blissenbach family has sold Christmas trees at Zumbro Valley Christmas Trees. They began the business as a way to put their property to good use and enjoy family time.
"It was a great season for us," says Dave Blissenbach. "Each year's been getting a little bit bigger, a little bit better."
Now that Christmas is over, the Blissenbachs have a break to enjoy the holiday season, but plans for next year are already in the works. A few hundred trees were cut this winter. About 1,000 will be planted this spring to replace those trees and then some. The trees are planted when the ground thaws, cared for over the summer, and pruned and shaped before it's time to sell them.
Depending on the variety, it takes 7-10 years for trees to become 7-9 feet tall, when it's time for them to become a family's Christmas tree. Not only are the Blissenbachs planning for next Christmas, they're planning ten years ahead.
"Not only the number of trees, but also the species that are popular. Years ago it used to be more of the long needle, the more traditional, and we have a lot of those but recently, more people want the short needle firs too so we have to kind of guess what the trends might be in 10 years," explains Blissenbach.
The tree your family might display and decorate in your home for the holidays in 2029 may already be growing at Zumbro Valley Christmas Trees right now.
"It's just a fun business," adds Blissenbach.
There's currently about 10,000 trees in the ground at the nursery. The Blissenbachs also have plans to begin offering trees with roots to be dug up and planted on peoples' properties as well.