Minnessentials stories

What are the foods, sights, activities and rituals that make Minnesota what it is? Introducing Minnessentials, an occasional series that plunges into the culture of our state with the help of Star Tribune readers. Have a favorite? Tell us at minnessentials@startribune.com or tweet at reporter @SharynJackson.

In Forest Lake at Russ Mansmith's tree farm, the man himself brings a Christmas to be trimmed and prepped for the Bacha family of Hugo .

At 75, a Minnesota Christmas tree farmer isn't slowing down

Choosing the right tree out of row upon row of needle-laden green pyramids is a quintessential holiday custom, especially in Minnesota. The magic of the season keeps this 75-year-old Christmas tree farmer growing.