WHAT TO EXPECT
When you visit Big Lake Trees, you will be surrounded by natural forest, with a sparkling view of Big Lake. We have three distinct Christmas tree fields, all connected by a loop road—creatively named the "lower" field, the "middle" field, and the "upper" field. Each field has parking, saws and other amenities. Other than that, they are each very unique.
The Lower Field
When you pull onto the farm, you'll drive through the lower field. This is the largest of the three fields, and is also where you can have your tree shaken and netted (shaking is free; netting is $3). Stop here for a cup of hot, locally-produced apple cider.
The Middle Field
If you continue up the loop road (to the right), our middle field is just a bit further up the hill. This is our smallest, most intimate field—and also the setting for our off-season micro-weddings. Stop here to warm up in our warming hut next to a blazing fire.
The Upper Field.
At the peak of the loop road, you'll find the upper field. This is the second largest of our fields, and is a local favorite because of its wide open view of Big Lake.
SUSTAINABILITY AT BIG LAKE TREES
When we purchased Big Lake Trees in 2021, one of our goals was to make the tree farm as environmentally and socially sustainable as possible. We are learning how to manage the farm and surrounding forest, and planting new foliage in our wetland areas to enhance the duck habitat. Another challenge for 2021 has been eliminating the use of non-biodegradable reusable plastics—with the exception of candy cane wrappers, since apparently that option doesn't exist, and we can't have Christmas without candy canes! If you have suggestions for additional ways we can be strengthening the environment or our community through our farm, or have a school or other group that would like to visit us, please do not hesitate to let us know!
~ Adam and Hollie Del Vecchio
A LEGACY CONTINUED
Big Lake Trees was founded by Bob and Polly Winkelman, who planted the first Christmas trees in 1974. They focused on working the land in a sustainable way and leaving a legacy for their children and their families. The farm was expanded by Bob and Polly's son and daughter-in-law, Ralph and Ruth Heft, who later took over the operation with the help of Ralph's brothers, Phil and Bill.
In 2021, a new family entered the picture. The Del Vecchios purchased Big Lake Trees with the dream of continuing its legacy as both a family-run business and as a sustainable operation that contributes to the local community in a socially, environmentally and economically responsible manner.
We also strive to honor Polly Winkelman—who applied to the UW School of Forestry in 1937 but was told that "forestry is not for girls"—along with all the girls and women who have helped this Christmas tree farm survive and flourish to this day.