CLEAR LAKE-- Central Minnesotans looking to cut their own Christmas tree this holiday season have several lots to choose from.

Five tree farms in the area are now open for business. Each lot has different activities and experiences to offer from petting zoos to pictures with Santa.

Jan Donelson is the owner of Sand Country and Jan’s Christmas Trees. She says there are many benefits to having a real tree.

If you look at the carbon exchange, trees actually use carbon and give off oxygen. So, that's a benefit to our planet as well as our environment around us. Besides those, we have all the wildlife and the birds.

For ten years the Minnesota Christmas Tree Association has been running a Go Green Get Real campaign. Donelson is currently the executive director of the organization. She says buying trees locally makes a big difference.

When you go to the big box stores there's nothing negative about it, but not all the trees from those stores come from Minnesota, and they are not good for this environment. They don't hold up. They don't last. When you buy locally you support not only locally, but you're buying knowledge.

The organization says that in addition to the environmental benefits, buying real trees stimulates the local economy.

Tree farms are now open for business. To find a farm near you, check out the link below:

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