Excitement is in the air at Wolcyn Tree Farms and Nursery, not just for the families who come for the unique experience of chopping their own Christmas tree, but for the owners themselves.
Also, Wolcyn Tree Farm, located in between Cambridge and Princeton on Highway 95, is involved in the Minnesota Tree Growers Association, which provided 70 trees to decorate the inside of the U.S. Capitol building and other sites throughout Washington, D.C. this holiday season, meaning a tree from the local farm could be displayed somewhere inside the White House.
All of the recognition doesn’t seem to phase the hard-working Wolcyn family. The business is owned and operated by husband and wife, Tom and Adie Wolcyn, along with their four sons: Nick, Ben, Bobby and Clint. All sons except Clint work full-time at the tree farm; Clint works full-time in Christian ministry and helps out seasonally at the farm.
When Tom was 14 years old, his parents started planting trees for fun. Years later, Adie met Tom for the first time on a blind date during dinner at a mutual friend’s house. When Tom told her that he sold Christmas trees for a living, Adie’s biggest question was, “Why would someone do that?”
Nearly three decades later, the farm has become Adie’s life and her family’s work. Much like the Wolcyn family, the farm has also grown. What started out as Tom strictly selling Christmas trees in the winter, has turned into a year-round retail and wholesale business.
“Everybody knows we do Christmas trees,” Nick said. “Not everybody knows we sell trees for landscaping.”
Evergreens, ornamental, shade and fruit trees are all grown at the Wolcyn Tree Farm, and they are sold to landscapers and homeowners throughout the year. Wholesale reaches eight different states throughout the Midwest. Retail is sold in places such as their tree lot at the St. Paul Farmers Market. The Wolcyns offer six types of Christmas trees including balsam fir, Canaan fir, Scotch pine, white pine, Colorado spruce and Fraser fir.
Kenny Kraft, a loyal customer, purchases wholesale from Wolcyn Tree Farm for Minnetonka Timber Bay Christmas Tree Lots. Kraft composed a dozen songs — all tree related. One of Kraft’s songs is titled “Fraser Fir” (a spin on the classic “O Christmas Tree”). Nick said “Fraser Fir” is a favorite among children, and kids love to sing it on the tractor ride through the farm, whether the kids are with their family or with their class on a field trip.
“We like to sing that with the kids. It’s a perfect fit,” Nick said.
When students visit the farm on field trips, Nick likes to throw in little lessons. Cambridge Primary School first-graders made a class trip to Wolcyn Tree Farm Dec. 3 and learned about what trees need in order to grow. For older students in higher grades, Nick explains the process of photosynthesis and the function of trees in nature and how humans are affected. Field trips on the farm are free of charge.
“The reason they come up here is it’s fun,” Adie said.
To warm up, guests can come into the gift shop, where there is free coffee, cider and cookies. For years, Adie helped load Christmas trees, but now she does all the buying for the gift shop items. A majority of the gifts are from the Minneapolis Gift Mart, and the shop sells items from 40 different vendors. The gift shop is only open from Thanksgiving to Christmas.
Visitors come back generation after generation for the experience of cutting down their own tree at the Wolcyn Tree Farm.
“It’s an experience. It’s kind of like tailgating,” Adie said. “They really do enjoy the whole thing. It’s relaxing.”
Nick added, “We have a lot of funny characters that work here that keep it light hearted.”
Wolcyn Tree Farm is located at 4542 Highway 95 NW, Cambridge, and can be reached at 763-689-3346. More information can also be found at www.wolcyntreefarms.com.