A crew from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources chopped down this year’s Christmas tree for the governor’s official residence on Friday in the the Nemadji State Forest. The 50-foot balsam fir will be transported to St. Paul and erected at the governor’s mansion on Monday.

The Christmas tree hunt begins in early fall when DNR foresters scout for potential candidates in Minnesota’s 58 state forests.

“Finding a perfect specimen growing in the wild is not an easy task,” said Tim Brault, DNR forestry technician who helps locate the governor’s Christmas tree. “A candidate tree should have symmetrical branches, no noticeable gaps in the branches and a gradual taper.”

The tree will be removed from the front lawn of the governor’s residence when the holiday season ends. It will then be chipped and recycled.

Annually, 500,000 Christmas trees are harvested in Minnesota. For every Christmas tree harvested, one to three seedlings are planted in its place, making it a renewable product.

Source: MN Department of Natural Resources