Good start for holiday tree season - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Good start for holiday tree season

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WISCONSIN (WKOW)-- The business of the holidays is back, but it's not all about the malls and department stores. Christmas tree farms are in the same predicament as the stores. The late Thanksgiving gives them a short shopping season this year.

Buying fresh grown trees may not be the fastest option or the most convenient, but some say fake simply will not do. Despite the growing popularity and convenience of artificial trees, growers expect to see a good year this season.

"You can't beat the smell on these things," tree customer Charles Stone says. "I mean, it's like fifty or sixty car air fresheners here."

Charles Stone and his family have been going to Jensen Farms in Verona for going on 20-years. Each time the family comes together in pursuit of the perfect holiday tree. The Stones weren't the only family on the farm Friday afternoon. Workers were constantly trimming, shaking and baling trees.

"I think this year there has been a little bit of an upswing for the economy. I think people are a little more likely to come out," owner Lance Jensen says.

Jensen has been growing trees his entire life. His parents started the family tree farm 48 years ago. Many tree farms like Jensen Farms start their season the day after Thanksgiving, but with Thanksgiving being a week later than it normal the season will go from four weeks to just three weeks this year.

"I think that accounts a little bit for the rush that we've had today. Sales have been pretty good," Jensen says.

The weather has also been pleasant, which is a big factor for tree farmers. Another factor is the time and day that the Badgers and Packers play their football games. Owners are happy that two of the three Packer games this December are in the afternoon. It gives families the chance to spend all morning at the tree farm.

To compete with the convenience of buying an artificial tree at the store, growers have increased the number of tree lots in populated areas so people can easily pick up a tree. Wisconsin currently ranks 5th in the country in number of trees sold each year, but numbers have drastically declined since the early 2000's according to the National Christmas Tree Association.

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