Hansen Tree Farm
We work hard to make our
forest and farm a great experience for all ages. It holds many warm memories
for four generations of the Hansen family and many of our friends and
workers. Dress for the weather and we’re sure you will have an enjoyable
adventure. While our forest is less than a mile from the Northstar Commuter
Rail depot in Ramsey, once you come through our gate you’ll think you’ve
landed in the north woods. We try to enhance that feeling in many ways; our
log structures, campfire, hay rides, cars out by the fields and under big
pines rather than in a congested lot, native prairie areas, and foremost the
tall pines that intersperse our fields of Christmas trees and trails that
connect them all.
In 1952 Henry Hansen, Charlotte Hansen, and her father Harry Lindquist planted their first trees. Henry was a forestry professor at the University of Minnesota and had seen Christmas tree 'plantations' in the eastern U.S. But in Minnesota trees were still harvested from the wild and hauled in to sell as Christmas trees. Hansen Tree Farm became the first farm in the state to plant and grow trees to become Christmas trees.Henry and Charlotte planned to - and did - use the profits to pay for college for their two - and by 1954, three - boys to college.
The original trees were sold through florists such as Bachman's plus neighborhood tree lots in the Twin Cities. Starting in the mid-1960s some were also sold as choose-and-cut, a new concept in the region.
The farm did indeed put Trygg, David and Mark through college. During that time the family took a hiatus from the tree business, since the first crop was way too tall to be considered for Christmas trees and the family too busy. But in 1981 the "boys", now with their own families, decided to plant a new crop of trees for the next generation of college students. To make room for the seedlings, for four years they sold the now very large - 25' - trees to churches and high-ceilinged homes. Each one was loaded with the tractor and placed on large trailers. Finally, in 1989, the second generation of trees came to market and the remaining large trees are left as a forest.
Since then they have not stopped planting, pruning, watering, and selling Christmas trees. And, watching their children help with the work, and now grandchildren as well, making a total of four generations.
While the trees are a joy to watch grow up, is it second to the satisfaction of seeing people of all ages visit the farm each year and share the beauty and of our (their?) work. And often a new generation of customers comes, telling of their memories as children finding a tree on the farm.