Now Available at a Farm Near You
By Penelope Folsom
Isn’t this the year to pack up those grandkids, fill a thermos with hot chocolate and start a whole new holiday tradition? If so, try taking them for a day of fun to cut their own Christmas tree. Strolling through a rolling field of up to 1,500 trees per acre, with the scent of spruce and Douglas pine and Fraser fir wafting through the air, it would be hard to not get into the spirit of the season.
With farms now open from mid-November ’til the night before Christmas, it is easier than ever to find your own tree. Many farms will provide the equipment needed to cut that special tree and most will even cut it for you. Nearly all have trees that have already been harvested as well as additional greens for purchase. And if there’s a question about the environmental impact of cutting a tree that took seven to 10 years to grow, keep in mind that a discarded cut tree is most often recycled, and if used as mulch, like most natural products, it breaks down quickly. An artificial tree typically lasts about six years before being discarded and then will take centuries to break down in a landfill.
Many Christmas tree farms now make the trip more than worthwhile, offering a fun-filled day with hay rides or sleigh rides. Often as an added treat, some provide refreshments such as hot cider and cookies to go along with the Christmas music. There have even been reported sightings of a special visitor from the North Pole at some of the farms.
With more than 22,000 Christmas tree growers now in the U.S. (12,000 offer cut-your-own trees), there’s bound to be one near you. Call before setting out to check location and hours. And a tip from an inveterate live Christmas tree buyer, cut an inch off the stump when you get home, set it outside in a bucket of water for a day and if at all possible, hose it down and let it dry before bringing it into the house. This will keep the tree fresh longer and remove any pollen or wintering insects.
Local tree farms
Friendship Trees, Friendship
Address: 6950 Old Solomons Island Road
Friendship MD, 20758
Phone: 301 855-5756 or 301 641-9403
Hunter’s Meadow Mountain Trees
Pine Valley Christmas Trees, Elkton
Address: 361 Fairview Rd
Elkton MD, MD
Phone: 410 398-2759
Simmons’ Christmas Trees, Still Pond
|Address: Still Pond Neck Road (Rt. 443)
Still Pond MD, 21667
Phone: 410 778-0451 or 410-348 5407
Websites to locate other Christmas tree farms: