Support a local business by picking out the perfect tree at one of these family-owned farms in the metro Milwaukee area.
Although many prefer artificial Christmas trees to the real thing, nothing beats the rich, woodsy scents of actual spruce, pine and fir trees filling a festively-decorated living room.
Where: 340 Horns Corners Rd., Cedarburg
Open: Nov. 23-Dec. 23, Friday-Sunday, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Glenn Stumpf has been selling cut-your-own Christmas trees since 1991. Now, the Christmas tree farm is truly a family endeavor, with the entire Stumpf family — including grandchildren — making sure things run smoothly every holiday season. Stumpf said volunteers and a few high school employees also help with decorations and assisting customers. “We’ve got a nice crew,” said Stumpf.
Cut-your-own trees — Scotch pine, Black Hill spruce, Colorado blue spruce and Meyers spruce — stand up to seven feet tall and cost $55. The farm accepts cash or checks only; no credit cards. Stumpf’s also sells pre-cut trees, priced individually. A heated sales barn with a selection of disposal bags, fresh wreaths, door swags and boughs provides guests with hot apple cider.
Where: 9612 W. Oakwood Rd., Franklin; 414-427-5155
Open: Nov. 23, Tuesday-Thursday 3 p.m.-5 p.m. and Friday-Sunday 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
This family-owned farm offers a wide selection of pre-cut Fraser fir trees, cut-your-own white and blue spruce, Douglas, Balsam and Canaan fir, and Scotch pine trees; handmade wreaths and tree stands; and a gift shop. Visitors to the farm can enjoy family-friendly activities, including tree shaking and baling, sledding, Christmas crafts, face painting and a weekend campfire. Buffalo Bill’s also provides free hot chocolate, cookies and hot apple cider.
Where: 11550 N. Wasaukee Rd., Mequon; 262-242-7522 |2321 E. River Rd., Grafton; 262-573-7206
Open: Mequon: Nov. 17-Dec. 24; daily, 8 a.m.-dusk; Grafton: Nov. 17-Dec. 23, weekends only, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Trees for Less Nursery operates year-round and has been helping create holiday memories for over three decades. Cut your own Balsam fir, or purchase a pre-cut Fraser fir tree. On weekends, families can participate in hayrides and enjoy snacks, cocoa and live music around a toasty fire pit. Be sure to pick up a bottle of O’s Gold Maple Syrup, which is made right at the nursery.
Where: 3804 S. 27th St., Milwaukee ; 715-482-4471
Open: Nov. 23 as long as selection lasts; Monday 12-7 p.m., Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
The Applekamps have been in the Christmas tree business since the early 1970s. Now 78, Grandpa Vern’s owner Vern Applekamp still cuts his own trees at his family farm in Pelican Lake in northern Wisconsin, according to his son, Jason Applekamp, who manages the 27th St. lot. “We haven’t taken a year off,” said Jason Applekamp.
Trees are priced individually and range from four- or five-footers to 18 feet. About 85 percent of the trees are Balsam and Fraser firs. Applekamp said live trees are more environmentally friendly than artificial ones, as live trees can be recycled for mulch. Also, for each tree that is harvested, farmers plant several trees in their place, according to the Wisconsin Christmas Tree Producers Association.
Where: 920 N. Old World Third St., Milwaukee (Pere Marquette Park) | 3505 N. Oakland Ave., Shorewood | 5635 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Whitefish Bay; 262-251-3578
Open: Nov. 19-Dec. 24 (closed Thanksgiving), 9 a.m.-8 p.m.
Downtown Milwaukee may seem like an unlikely place for a Christmas tree farm, but Rick Bassow, owner of Lannon-based company Ideal Property Management, said out of Ideal’s three locations, Pere Marquette Park sells the most full-size trees. “There are a lot of apartments and condo[dwellers] that still enjoy a real tree,” said Bassow.
All trees are grown at a family farm in Medford, Wisconsin. Ideal sells Fraser and Balsam, as well as long-needle pine trees. Prices start at $35, and trees are typically sold by the foot. The company delivers and sets up trees for a fee. Ideal also sells customized wreaths, garlands, boughs, tree stands and other accessories. Bassow said his company also decorates homes for the holidays. Call for more information.
Where: Corner of Moorland and Woods Road, Muskego; 414-422-0151
Open: Nov. 23-Dec. 16 and Dec. 21-22, 9 a.m.-dusk, Friday-Sunday
Muskego Choose & Cut offers pre-cut Fraser fir trees from 6-16 feet starting at $45.