Annual tree sale funds Forestry Club

by Beth Hornby

The absence of December snow has not discouraged students and Twin Cities residents from getting into the holiday spirit.

The University Forestry Club’s annual Christmas tree sale is in full swing, and club President Craig Ferguson said the group expects to sell more than 1,500 trees.

The sales will raise enough money to fund scholarships for 12 forestry management students, in addition to funding the club’s events during the rest of the year.

“It’s not very Christmassy feeling this year, but lots of people are still buying trees,” forest management senior and club member Jon Drimel said.

Forestry Club Sgt.-at-Arms Jeff Jackson said the club expects to raise more than $40,000 through the tree sales this year. The sale has raised money for the club for more than 75 years.

Tree prices range from $30 to $80, with balsam and Frasier firs the top sellers. But the lot also sells white pine, scotch pine, white spruce and blue spruce trees, and Jackson said the price and variety keep people coming back.

“We have a lot of return customers who continue to support us year after year,” Jackson said. “People know it goes to educate foresters, and it supports sustainable forestry practices.”

Shelly Sateren, a St. Paul resident who has bought trees from the Forestry Club for eight years, said the prices are reasonable.

“I came from the Herme’s lot, where trees are $50 to $100,” Sateren said. “These are good quality trees, and I like that there’s a nice price range.”

Forestry professor Carl Vogt, who runs a farm near Cambridge, Minn., provides the trees. Vogt also sells homemade maple syrup at the lot.

The lot – located in the corner of Larpenteur and Cleveland avenues on the St. Paul campus – will be open until Christmas Eve. The lot is open Monday through Thursday from noon to 9 p.m., and Friday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. The members who run the sale also cut tree bottoms and bind the branches for customers.