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HL’s Crow River Nursery strives to be tree trendy

“One of the most difficult parts of owning a tree nursery is that I don’t know what the trend will be eight years from now,” Crow River Nursery owner Paul Saunders commented.

The nursery carries a large variety of trees and has a goal to have the trending trees for each season, according to Saunders.

The nursery has a variety of firs, spruces, and pines available for the holiday season, and tries to have the most popular variety of each tree for customers.

Saunders lives in Michigan, and had Dean and Sherri Klinkner operating the nursery for the past four years.

This year, Saunders and his family are operating it themselves, he said.

“The Klinkners and their children have been the face of Crow River Nursery for four years, and they have done a good job,” Saunders said. “They are taking this year off to spend more time with family, so this is very different for us.”

Saunders is originally from Brooklyn Center, where he worked at his neighbor’s tree farm.

“I was a gopher from the age of six, until I was 20,” Saunders commented. “You know, you go for this and go for that.”

In 1990, Saunders decided to begin planting his own trees, and started Crow River Nursery.

Saunders and his wife, Tamara, are partners in this business venture. They have two children, Ryan, 21, and Madeline, 22.

“The family experience is what it’s all about,” Saunders noted.

One way the Saunders enjoy the experience is through their annual photo contest.

The photo contest is another way of showing how much he and his family enjoy the experience, Saunders said.

Photos of customers picking out trees are submitted to, and judged by the Herald-Journal staff.

The winning photo is made into a sign by the Herald Journal sign department, which is then displayed on the tree farm.

“People seem to really enjoy the photo contest,” Saunders said.

Crow River Nursery currently has a flyer with a coupon for $2 off a choose-and-cut tree for the holiday season.

This year, a customer purchased 100 trees to use the boughs to make holiday wreaths, Saunders said.

He added that he enjoys the down-to-earth nature of growing trees.

“We’re not trying to be fancy, and I like that,” Saunders commented. “We just try to have nice trees for people.”

For more information, check the company’s website, www.crowrivernursery.com or call (888) 551-5630

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