The evergreen legacy of Minnesota’s Rustic Pines Christmas Tree Farm

Over the years, Rustic Pines Christmas Tree Farm — nestled just outside Kiester, Minnesota — has become much than just a place to find the perfect holiday tree.

For Keith Rinehart and his wife Carol, the journey of cultivating their three-and-a-half-acre haven began with a dream in the early 1990s. As families flock to the farm in search of the ideal holiday centerpiece, the Rineharts reflect on the decades-long evolution of Rustic Pines.

Keith Rinehart harbors a deep appreciation for nature and wildlife as an avid outdoorsman. The dream of having a Christmas tree farm lingered in his mind for years. In the fall of 1991, Keith and Carol turned this dream into reality, purchasing the property that would soon blossom into Rustic Pines. They planted their first trees in the spring of 1993, marking the beginning of a labor-intensive yet rewarding journey.

Unlike most Minnesota crops, Christmas trees demand patience. The Rineharts detail the meticulous care required, from nurturing seedlings to pruning and tending to trees over several years. Each tree tells a story, with different varieties requiring varying amounts of time to reach the desired height. For the Rineharts, every tree embodies years of dedication and a commitment to providing families with the quintessential holiday symbol.

Choosing the perfect Christmas tree is a personal experience at Rustic Pines. Families spend hours navigating the tree-lined acres, searching for the one that captures the essence of their holiday spirit. Keith Rinehart emphasizes the farm’s focus on family experiences, encouraging visitors to bring multiple generations together. Over the years, the Rineharts have witnessed families returning, creating a tradition that spans generations.

As the demand for real Christmas trees remains high, Rustic Pines and similar farms see a surge in visitors during the three weekends following Thanksgiving. Keith Rinehart notes that the farm has closed for the season due to overwhelming demand, reflecting a broader trend of fewer Christmas tree farms in the region.

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