We joined MNCTA in 1983, the year we planted our first Christmas tree. Over the years our advice to anyone contemplating growing Christmas trees has remained the same: “Join MNCTA”.
Like most things, there is more to growing Christmas trees than one would think. Some aspects are highly technical—like selecting the proper species based on soil analysis and composition, dealing with diseases and pests, etc. Some aspects are more artistic—the proper trimming and shearing to achieve the desired shape. The seminars and field days spent with fellow growers are invaluable. All of us “old timers” are every bit as much a student as a teacher.
Phil has spent a total of 13 years on the MNCTA Board of Directors. He was President of the association for two of those years. While he is no longer on the Board, the torch has been passed to Greg who is now serving as vice-president of the Association.
Pinestead Tree Farms also hosted the MNCTA annual summer convention and field days in 2002. This is a two day event which features experts (not just from Minnesota) from various parts of the industry, universities, government, etc. In addition to providing an opportunity to walk the fields with specialists in some aspect of growing trees or managing insects and diseases, we conducted demonstrations of equipment and techniques.
More information on MNCTA can be found at www.mncta.com