Founded in 1955 by brothers Calvin & George Frelk, Northern Christmas Trees & Nursery began as a wholesale Christmas tree company. Both brothers lived in Illinois and ran the business by traveling back and forth while working full time for others and operating an additional farming business in Illinois growing tomatoes and asparagus for Campbell Soup. As both businesses grew requiring full time presence, the 2 businesses were divided in 1972 and Cal and his wife, Arlene took over the tree business in Wisconsin. In 1979 their daughter and son-in-law, Ginger and John Ahl, entered the business and are now the managing partners. John saw the nursery business as a new challenge and began to rapidly expand into other growing aspects of the nursery industry. Northern is one of the first growers to plant trees pot-in-pot. With over 2 decades of experience, they are one of the largest state of the art pot-in-pot producers in the Midwest featuring drip irrigation and injection fertilization. Northern has over 100, 000 container grown shade and ornamental trees, 50, 000 container hardy shrub roses and 400, 000 container grown shrubs and evergreens in production suited to their Northern Zone 3b climate. With over 55 years of growing experience, Northern is also Wisconsin's largest Christmas tree grower operating on over 6600 acres offering Fraser, Balsam and Douglas Fir ; Scotch and White Pine as well as wreaths, garland and related tree lot products. As leaders in the industry, John Ahl has sat on the Wisconsin Nurseryman's Association, Wisconsin Christmas Tree Producers Association and National Christmas Tree Association's Board of Directors.