For some people, it’s just not Christmas without the smell of fresh-cut pine.

“One of the best parts to our business is watching families spend time together selecting the perfect Christmas tree,” says Mark Fisher, owner of Fisher Trees near Clear Lake. “It’s something they remember for years.”

Located on the edge of Pilot Knob State Park, Fisher’s 10 acres of trees take full advantage of the wooded, hilly terrain in the middle of productive farm ground. Around 4 acres are devoted to Christmas tree favorites Fraser Fir, Cannan Fir and Scotch Pine. The remainder of the trees are sold to landscape nurseries for farm windbreaks.

Fisher, a Cerro Gordo County Farm Bureau member, has seen demand for live Christmas trees grow significantly over the past decade as people, particularly young people, recognize the environmental and economic benefits of live trees...