Kruger’s Tree Farm places conservation easement on Lake Elmo land

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Neil (right) and Deb Krueger (center) at their family Christmas tree farm in Lake Elmo on Thursday, February 1, 2024. Along with his son John. The couple, along with their son John, recently signed a conservation easement. Minnesota Land Trust on 36 acres of the 46-acre farm. Kruger’s Christmas That portion of his tree farm currently has permanent restrictions on development and will remain forever as open space. (John Oti/Pioneer Press)

Neil and Deb Krueger’s love for the land is evident each spring when it comes time to spray for aphids.

Instead of pesticides, the owners of Kruger’s Christmas Tree Farm in Lake Elmo use a homemade mixture of peppermint Castile soap and neem oil to get rid of pesky bugs.

“We are not certified organic, but our goal is to become organic one day,” said Neil Krueger, whose parents started growing Christmas trees in 1954. “We use a lot of alternative methods like mulching, mowing and cover crops to minimize herbicide use.” “

The Kruegers have been committed to sustainable farming since taking over the farm from Neil Krueger’s parents 30 years ago. Now, thanks to an agreement with the Minnesota Land Trust, the land will be preserved forever.

The couple, along with their son John, recently completed a conservation easement on 36 acres of their 46-acre farm. This means that portions of the farm will be permanently restricted from development and will remain open space.

“We’re trying to do our part in our little neck of the woods,” Neil Krueger said.

John Kruger says: “We have a family connection to this land, which makes it all the more important to keep it an open space. It will be.”

While the Kruegers have been committed to environmentally responsible practices and priorities for decades, this conservation easement “ensures that future generations of the community will be able to protect the farm’s visual, natural, wildlife, and watershed features. It means that you will continue to benefit from the trait forever,” said Deb Krueger.

minnesota land trust

The Minnesota Land Trust is dedicated to protecting grasslands, forests, bluffs, wetlands, and other habitats and native plant communities for wildlife, fish, and other species. We also focus on lakes, rivers, streams, and scenic landscapes, especially those that are important to local communities.

The organization has helped conserve approximately 80,000 acres of land across Minnesota.

Kruger Tree Farm’s conservation easement covers farmland, grasslands, woodlands, wetlands and ponds, said Wayne Ostry, the organization’s land conservation director.

“The value of agriculture and open space, as well as habitat protection, is very important to local communities,” Ostley said.

All conservation easements held by the Minnesota Land Trust are perpetual and apply to current owners and all future landowners, Ostry said.

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