Over the River and Through the Woods at Korbisch’s Christmas Tree Farm

I grew up in Wisconsin, one of the top producers of Christmas trees in the U.S. When I was a child, we always had a real Christmas tree, a tradition Jim and I continued through our sons’ childhoods. When the boys were quite young, around 1990, we discovered Korbisch’s Christmas Tree Farm (then called Tannenbaum Acres) about 20 miles east of my hometown of Wausau, Wisconsin, at Wittenberg, where we could “choose and cut” our own tree.

We would join three of my brothers’ families on the Saturday following Thanksgiving, pile into our respective vehicles, kids and dogs in tow, singing Christmas carols during the ride, and go look for the perfect Christmas tree, always a balsam for me. For several years, we searched for three perfect trees, one for us and trees for two friends in Iowa. After a few years, the Korbischs knew to look for us.


Michael, age 4, Brian, age 6, and Jim rockin’ his mustache in 1990

The tree farm is about 45 acres of balsam, spruce, and frasier fir trees in a lovely setting with a stream running through the property. You can choose and cut your own or select from the trees they have displayed onsite. They also sell fresh-cut trees wholesale and send trees by the semi-load as far away as Wyoming.

The kids loved the dogs and cats that roamed freely and the horse and llamas penned in an area where the kids could pet them. The baling machine was always fascinating to all of us. Matt fed the trees through the hole and it magically came out the other side with the branches nicely tied up and secured with twine. After baling, Matt would help Jim tie or bungee cord the trees to the top of our mini van to make the 300 mile trip back to Iowa.

Then the kids grew up and left home, and life got in the way of this cherished tradition. We didn’t get to Wisconsin over the Thanksgiving weekend for the last 5 years. We bought an artificial tree which I’ve never liked but we made do.

Finally, this year we visited my hometown over the Thanksgiving weekend. The next generation of my family that lives in Wausau now takes their kids and dogs over the river and through the woods to find the perfect live Christmas tree at Korbisch’s. We tagged along for old time’s sake.

The Korbischs greeted us warmly and said they had wondered about us and how our retirement was going. While we didn’t cut down a tree (having no way to transport it to Iowa on the top of a Prius) we loved our walk down memory lane. Matt and Sally have expanded the operation to include the sale of lumber and log furniture. The menagerie of animals has grown to include donkeys, sheep, and an alpaca.  With all they have going on out there, the Korbischs look forward to retirement from their primary jobs to spend more time on the tree farm.


Korbisch’s Christmas Tree Farm


Matt Korbisch (on the right) with Jim and my nephews. Check out the semi load of trees behind the red vehicle ready to ship.

Version 2

Sally Korbisch with the tree baler behind her


Shed where customers can choose a cut tree


The tree baler


A log furniture piece for sale


The warming house with a toasty fire inside and wreaths for sale 


My great nephew, Chace, with the donkeys


A couple of the sheep and the alpaca


My brother’s grandchildren and their dog off to search for their tree


Jim and I at the stream


Korbisch’s Tree Farm


My sister-in-law, Linda, and I found a perfect tree immediately


Walking the trail


I think the prices have remained the same since we started coming here

So, if it’s possible, start a tradition like this with your own dear families and if you get to Korbisch’s Christmas Tree Farm, tell them Jim and Laura sent you.

Categories: Uncategorized, USA | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Over the River and Through the Woods at Korbisch’s Christmas Tree Farm

  1. What a wonderful story and memory. Even though I grew up in Wausau, I never heard of Korbisch’s Christmas Tree Farm, but wish I had. What great prices! Your picture of the boys as little ones is priceless. Thanks for sharing.

    • I don’t remember how we originally found them but I’m glad we did. Back then it wasn’t through Google, that’s for sure!

  2. Very cool! I have never picked out and cut my own Christmas tree. Buying a Christmas tree in FL consisted of going to the tent and picking one out they had under the tent. Now that we have cats I do a fake one. Maybe one day 🙂

    • I think the best thing about a real tree is the smell of balsam throughout the house. I miss it for sure!

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