Bring home some holiday cheer

Student carries tree purchase to customer vehicle

Senior Dylan Ferguson (left) helps Gilbert resident Jane Edwards at the Forestry Club's Christmas tree and holiday wreath sale in the Reiman Gardens parking lot. Photos by Christopher Gannon.

The ISU Forestry Club closes out its Christmas tree and holiday wreath fundraiser this weekend with sales on Friday (3-6 p.m.), Saturday (9 a.m.-5 p.m.) and Sunday (11 a.m.-5 p.m.) in the Reiman Gardens parking lot.

Student shows tree to customer

Senior Ben Wilson (right) helps Ames resident Karen Lawson select a tree at the sale.

The club added a new variety to its lineup, replacing the Fraser fir with the Canaan fir. Tom Isenhart, club adviser and professor of natural resource ecology and management, said the retirement of the small family-operated business that supplied their fir trees for more than two decades and a national Christmas tree shortage spurred the change. 

"The new family business we are working with was sold out of Fraser firs, which was our go-to tree with the former operation," Isenhart said. "The new folks recommended we try the Canaan firs, which are growing in popularity."

The Canaan is a hybrid of the popular Fraser and balsam firs, with good needle retention, dense branches and a pyramid shape. Isenhart said the club planted Canaan firs on its tree farm west of Ames, but "the heavier soils in Iowa make them very slow growing."

Balsam fir and club-grown white pine trees also are available. Trees range from $30 to $70, and balsam fir wreaths are $20 to $30. The fundraiser proceeds support club activities, including professional development.