Pursell Manufacturing is the biggest name in Christmas trees

The company manufactures stands, netting, and bottled products at its 17-employee facility in Colorado

Eric Peterson //March 1, 2020//

Pursell Manufacturing is the biggest name in Christmas trees

The company manufactures stands, netting, and bottled products at its 17-employee facility in Colorado

Eric Peterson //March 1, 2020//

Pursell Manufacturing | Poncho Springs | Product: Home & Lifestyle

Pursell Manufacturing is the biggest name in Christmas tree stands this side of the North Pole.

VP and third-generation owner Alan Pursell’s father and grandfather, Richard and Bill, started making wooden stands in Oregon “lumber country” in 1968, then consolidated the operation in Colorado in the late 1990s largely due to its central location. “It’s a good place to ship out of,” Alan Pursell says.

In the beginning, the company developed a proprietary stand-making machine that lasted nearly 30 years, and is currently on machine No. 2. “There’s only one machine in the world that does it,” Pursell says. “You don’t go buy a tree stand machine, plug it in, and start producing. You’ve got to know your way around a shop and have some mechanical abilities to figure it out.”

Over the years, the company responded to retailers’ requests and diversified into steel stands, netting, faux snow, tree preservatives and other products. “Now we are the largest supplier in the world for Christmas tree lot supplies,” Pursell says.

The company manufactures stands, netting, and bottled products at its 17-employee facility in Colorado. A sister facility in Minnesota focuses on biodegradable faux snow from wood pulp and special-effects products.

Alan Pursell (who now runs the company with Richard and his brother, Paul) thinks manufacturing gets a bad rap in Colorado. “As far as environmental concerns, we’re a very light impact. We had some resistance moving to Teller County when we were going to Colorado. With manufacturing, people think of smokestacks, and that’s not the case. We’re next to the fairgrounds, and nobody even knows we’re there.”

The market pendulum has swung from artificial Christmas trees back to the real deal in recent years, and farmers are now playing catch-up. “There is a shortage of Christmas trees in the U.S.,” Pursell says. “Your eight-foot tree takes eight years to grow. The trend is going towards the real tree as far as environmental concerns. It’s a sustainable, Earth-friendly choice as opposed to a tree that’s made of plastic that goes to the landfill after five years.”

That’s good for Pursell Manufacturing. “We fly on the tailcoat of Christmas trees,” Pursell says. “If you don’t have a stand, you can’t sell a tree.”

 

This article is part of the 2020 Made in Colorado feature. To learn more about the Colorado companies changing manufacturing in the state, click here