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Oconto Christmas tree farm sold, holiday experience will continue

Local News

OCONTO, Wis. (WFRV) — An area Christmas tree farm has been sold to another farm – but don’t worry, the same holiday experience will continue on.

Early in June, Oconto’s Whispering Pines Tree Farm was sold by Mary and Dave Vander Velden to Yeska Bros. Farm of Wild Rose.

The Vander Velden’s have worked with the Yeskas in the business for several years, building a strong connection.

When looking at their strategic plan, the Vander Veldens realized the Yeska Family shared their values of family, honesty, and the importance of hard work.

Established by the Vander Veldens in 1984, Whispering Pines started with 16 acres of land. Dave’s vision of a family holiday experience became a reality as the farm expanded and improved each year.

Families going to the farm experienced a ride on the Whispering Pines Express to cut their own Christmas Tree, take pictures with Santa, shop in the log cabin gift shop, and enjoy some hot chocolate.

Others recognize Whispering Pines for their exclusive Majestic Fir, which has won accolades at both the national and state-level competition.

The Majestic Fir tree is an exclusive seed source the Vander Veldens have been developing over several years. Customers of Whispering Pines Tree Farm will be able to cut and bring home their own Majestic Fir for the first time this year.

  • Over the summer, a Majestic Fir entered by the Vander Veldens at the National Christmas Tree Association summer meeting won National Reserve Grand Champion
  • In 2020, Whispering Pines will provide a Christmas tree for the Vice President’s official residence on the grounds of the Naval Observatory
  • Chris Duffy, a long-time member of the Whispering Pines family, entered a Majestic Fir in the Wisconsin Christmas Tree Association contest and won Grand Champion on August 16
  • The farm will present a tree for display in the Governor’s Conference Room this Christmas Season
  • Duffy and Whispering Pines are eligible to enter a tree in the National Christmas Tree Association tree contest in 2021. This Association has provided trees to the White House since 1966
    • In 2016, Whispering Pines earned this honor and presented the official White House Christmas tree to First Lady Michele Obama

The Yeskas, Dan, Ken, and Randy, wholesale trees from their central Wisconsin farm and say they are thrilled to expand their farming operations.

“While we currently have a wholesale tree business, we are excited to run a Choose-n-cut tree farm and retail shop!” the Yeskas say.

Besides raising Christmas trees, the Yeskas specializes in potatoes, cucumbers, cabbage, jalapeno peppers, and canning crops.

The sister-wives – Sharon, Carolann, and Megan – will play an integral part in the day to day operations of the gift shop, the spring tree sale, and nursery stock.

Christmas 2019 will find many familiar faces working at Whispering Pines and the Vander Veldens will be consulting with the Yeskas.

The Vander Veldens say they have been working alongside the Yeskas to ensure a seamless transition and to uphold the quality of service of Whispering Pines.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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