Cutting down christmas tree

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Caring for a Christmas tree – Simple but important tips!for your live Christmas tree

Important Tips on Caring for Your Christmas Tree

Your cut Christmas tree will last longer, look better, drop fewer needles and be a reduced fire risk if it is cared for properly. Here’s what you need to know and do. And if you have a living rooted (balled & burlapped tree instead of a cut tree, see this page instead )

Selecting a tree

1. Get a healthy tree – Don’t buy a tree that is losing green needles, or has dry, brittle twigs or a sour, musty smell. Excessive needle loss can be detected by vigorously shaking the tree, or dropping it onto the end of the trunk several times from a height of about 1 ft (30 cm). The loss of old dead needles from the inside of the tree does not indicate that there is a problem with the tree. Mechanical shakers can remove these needles, and reduce the potential for a mess inside the home.

2. Size of the tree – Do not buy a tree that is too large for the area where it will be displayed. Aside from paying more than necessary, up to $10 per ft (30 cm) of height, you will have to cut off a large section of the lower trunk, and possibly the lower whorl of branches. This might ruin the appearance of the lower part of the tree.

3. Bottom of the tree – Note the location of large branches at the bottom of the tree. Be sure that the handle is long enough to allow display of the tree without cutting off the lower whorl of large branches. USDA grading rules specify trees should have a handle 1 to 12 in (2.5 to 3.8 cm) long per ft (30 cm) of height. However, some species are routinely sold without pruned handles, eg, Fraser fir.

3. Shaking the tree – When purchasing a tree from a choose-n-cut farm, have the producer mechanically shake the tree, if possible. This will eliminate dead, loose needles, especially in species such as Virginia pine, white pine, Scotch pine and red cedar. And bugs. It will shake them out, too. There is less potential mess to reach the home.

Transporting the tree

4. Wrap the tree – If the transport time from the retail lot or farm to the final destination is more than 15 min, it is best to wrap the tree in a tarp, or carry it in an enclosed camper or the back of a pick-up. Strong wind of 60 mph (100 km h-1) on the highway, especially during warm weather, can damage a tree in a short time.

5. Orientation on the car – Put the bottom of the tree aiming forward to protect the needles from being blown off.

6. Tie it securely! – If the tree is carried on the outside of a vehicle, tie it securely.

Storing the tree before bring it in the house

7. Keep out of the sunlight – Do not leave a cut Christmas tree lying in the sunshine for long periods of time, especially if air temperatures are warm. Fresh trees dry rapidly in those circumstances.

8. Keep it in water – If a tree cannot be immediately displayed in water, make a fresh cut on the base of the trunk, and stand it in a bucket of water in a cool, shaded location, either indoors or outdoors. When the tree is displayed in a water holding stand, a second fresh cut is probably unnecessary, but might enhance water uptake.

Setting up the tree in your stand

9. Cut off a disk of wood about 0.5 to 1 inch (1.25 to 2.5 cm) thick from the base of the trunk immediately before putting the tree in the stand. Make the cut perpendicular to the stem axis. Do not cut at an angle, or into a v-shape, which makes it far more difficult to hold the tree plumb in the stand, and reduces the amount of water available to the tree. Do not cut off too much trunk, resulting in a handle too short for the stand. This would lead to the situation described in (2) and (3) above.
If no saw is available, get the retailer to make a fresh cut on the base of the trunk before departing for home. Assuming that the trip home is relatively short, put the tree in water as soon as possible. Species like Douglas-fir and Fraser fir can go 6 to 8 h after cutting, and still take up water. Do not bruise the end of the trunk or get it dirty.

10. Drilling a hole in the base of the trunk does not affect water uptake. The use of drilled/pin type devices to supply water directly to holes drilled in the tree is not as effective as displaying the tree in a more traditional type of stand.

11. Use a stand that fits your tree. Some stands have circular rings at the top, so the ring must be large enough so the trunk goes through the hole. Other stands are open, which allows more range in trunk size. Avoid whittling the sides of the trunk down to fit a stand. The outer layers of wood are most efficient in taking up water and should not be removed. Use a stand with an adequate water holding capacity for the tree. Using stands that are too small is a very common mistake. Fresh trees use about 1 qt (about 1 L) of water per day per in (about 2.5 cm) of trunk diameter. The stand should hold enough water to last 24 h. If the stand goes dry and is subsequently refilled, water uptake may stop or be severely limited, leading to premature drying. Contraptions are available that maintain constant water level in the stand, working on the principle of a commode float.

12. Cold water – Do not use hot water in the stand; it is of no benefit.

13. No chemicals – Do not use chemicals in the stand to prevent evaporation. Water moves into the trunk at the lower cut end, and eventually evaporates (transpires) from the foliage. Evaporation from the surface of water in the stand is negligible, compared to the loss from transpiration. Do not use additives in water, including floral preservatives, molasses, sugar, bleach, soft drinks, aspirin, honey, or other concoctions. Do not apply film-forming anti-transpirants. The products supposedly block the evaporation of water from the surface of foliage, but in reality have little benefit. Do not use water holding gels in the stand. They reduce the amount of water available to trees. Clean water is the only requirement to maintain freshness.

Decorating your tree

14. Keep away from heat – Keep displayed trees away from point sources of heat (fireplaces, heaters, heat vents, direct sunlight). Lowering the room temperature will slow drying, resulting in less water consumption.

15. Lights – Use only UL approved lights and electrical cords and devices on trees. Check electrical cords and lights for damage prior to placement on the tree.

16. Placement of ornaments – Hang all ornaments that are breakable, have small, detachable parts or metal hooks, or that look like food or candy on higher branches where small children can’t reach them. Green floral wire, which can be twisted firmly around branches, is a great way to hang fragile ornaments. More durable Christmas ornaments like candy canes, knitted ornaments on higher branches where small children can’t reach them. Green floral wire, which can be twisted firmly around branches, is a great way to hang fragile ornaments.

17. Pets – Keep pets out of the room in which the tree is placed, especially if you can’t be there to supervise. Cats are known for leaping onto Christmas trees, especially when pursued by another pet. Use a ceiling hook to keep the tree from toppling. Both cats and dogs can knock down and break glass ornaments, then cut themselves on the pieces. Pets may also gnaw on electrical cords for Christmas tree lights. So hide them when possible, or help prevent injury by purchasing a pet-proof cover for the wiring.

18. Avoid using artificial snow sprays, to which some people are allergic and may cause lung irritation if inhaled.

19. Turn off tree lights when you go to bed or leave the house. Use only UL-approved electrical decorations and extension cords, and check to be sure no cords have frayed since you last used the lights.

Watering your tree

20. Always keep the tree stand filled with water. Dried sap will form a seal over the cut stump within several hours if the water level falls below the base of the tree. If this occurs, make another fresh cut in the butt-end and promptly fill the stand with water. Use hot tap water which will soften sap and facilitate absorption.

21. How much water – A tree will absorb as much as a gallon of water or more in the 24 hours after it is cut, and one or more quarts everyday after. Maintaining a steady water level prevents the needles from drying out and dropping off and the boughs from drooping. Water will also keep the tree fragrant. Do not allow the water pan to empty or go below the tree base

Taking down the tree

22. Monitor the tree for dryness. If the tree is dry, remove it from the house.

23. Disconnect all electrical devices prior to removing them from the tree.

24. Never burn a tree in a fire place or wood stove. Pine trees have a lot of sap which can flash and also create a chimney fire.

25. See this page for recycling, reuse and disposal information !

Click here for more Tree Care Recommendations from the USDA, see page 650 ! And if you’d like to flock your tree, see this page for how to do it !

Where Christmas trees come from

By Tim Meko and Tim Meko Deputy graphics director Lauren Tierney Graphics reporter and cartographer December 12, 2019

Every year, millions of Americans purchase and decorate Christmas trees to ring in the holiday season. Whether they are bought at a lawn and garden store or a pop-up lot or harvested from a tree farm or a national forest, a live tree is an integral part of the tradition for many families.

Christmas trees produced in 2017,

by county

Clackamas Co., Ore.

1.8 million

Missaukee Co.,

Mich.

571,000

Waushara Co., Wis.

93,000

York Co.,

Pa.

150,000

Ashe Co., N.C.

1.9 million

Christmas trees produced in 2017, by county

Clackamas Co., Ore.

1.8 million

Missaukee Co.,

Mich.

571,000

Waushara Co., Wis.

93,000

York Co.,

Pa.

150,000

Ashe Co.,

N.C.

Christmas trees produced in 2017, by county

Missaukee Co.,

Mich.

571,000

Clackamas Co., Ore.

1.8 million

Waushara Co., Wis.

93,000

York Co.,

Pa.

150,000

Ashe Co., N.C.

1.9 million

Christmas trees produced in 2017, by county

Missaukee Co.,

Mich.

571,000

Clackamas Co., Ore.

1.8 million

Waushara Co., Wis.

93,000

York Co.,

Pa.

150,000

Ashe Co., N.C.

1.9 million

Before the 1930s, Christmas trees typically were cut down on an individual’s property or out in the wild. Now, tree farms in all 50 states (yes, Hawaii too) are where most Christmas trees come from, accounting for 98 percent of live Christmas trees brought into homes. These farms churn out many kinds of conifers, but two main regions — Clackamas County near Portland, Ore., and the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina — produce the most.

The most common Christmas trees are the noble fir on the West Coast, primarily grown in Oregon and Washington, and the Fraser fir on the East Coast, primarily grown in North Carolina. North Carolina produces trees that are exported up and down the East Coast all the way to the Mississippi, and Oregon and Washington produce trees that are shipped around the West Coast. In the Great Lakes and the Southeast, many of the trees grown remain in the region.

Forested areas with mostly Christmas

tree varieties

Choose-and-cut Christmas tree farms

Portland

Clackamas

Co., Ore.

New

York

Washington, D.C.

Ashe Co., N.C.—

Forest data Hawaii is not available

Forested areas with mostly Christmas tree varieties

Choose-and-cut Christmas tree farms

Portland

Clackamas

Co., Ore.

Minneapolis

New

York

Denver

Washington, D.C.

Ashe Co., N.C.—

Albuquerque

Atlanta

Forest data Hawaii is not available

Forested areas with mostly Christmas tree varieties

Choose-and-cut Christmas tree farms

Seattle

Portland

Clackamas

Co., Ore.

Minneapolis

New York

Denver

Washington, D.C.

Ashe Co., N.C.—

Los

Angeles

Albuquerque

Atlanta

Forest data Hawaii is not available

Forested areas with mostly Christmas tree varieties

Choose-and-cut Christmas tree farms

Seattle

Portland

Clackamas

Co., Ore.

Minneapolis

New York

Denver

Washington, D.C.

Ashe Co., N.C.—

Los

Angeles

Albuquerque

Atlanta

Forest data Hawaii is not available

Forested areas with mostly Christmas tree varieties

Choose-and-cut Christmas tree farms

Seattle

Portland

Clackamas

Co., Ore.

Minneapolis

New York

Denver

Washington, D.C.

Ashe Co., N.C.—

Los

Angeles

Albuquerque

Atlanta

Forest data Hawaii is not available

Before tree farms, Christmas trees were more characteristic of the conifers of each region. People cut pines and cedars in the South, Frasier firs along the East Coast, and in the Northeast near Maine the native Balsam fir. Moving west to the Great Lakes, Scotch pines and spruces were favorites, and in the Rocky Mountains and on the West Coast, fir trees were often the favorites to cut down.

“Every part of the country has had its favorite conifer. And today, people in those parts of the nation still prefer those trees,” according to Doug Hundley, the seasonal spokesman for the National Christmas Tree Association. “It gives us some more traditional view of Christmas trees and people, and the nation’s relationship with Christmas trees.”

When choosing your own live Christmas tree, many options are available to conifer shoppers. In 2018, 28 percent of trees were bought at chain stores, but an equal 28 percent at “choose-and-cut” farms where people can select and cut down their own tree on a farm.

In the Western United States, a number of national forests in Oregon, Washington, Montana, Wyoming and Colorado sell permits that allow people the opportunity to cut down their own Christmas tree in the wild, “Christmas Vacation”-style. (However, pulling a tree out by its roots is against the law).


Groves of Christmas trees stand last week in a snow-covered field at Beverly Tree Farm in Beverly, Mass. (Joseph Prezioso/Afp Via Getty Images)

Whether you opt for a live or artificial tree to decorate your home, a few famous trees are always real. This year’s Rockefeller Center tree came from Florida, N.Y., and has almost always come from New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Connecticut. The Rockefeller tree does not come from a tree farm but instead private property or U.S. Forest Service land.

In Washington, D.C., the National Christmas Tree is a live tree that grows in front of the White House year-round, transplanted from Pennsylvania this year. Since 1973, the National Christmas Tree has been a living tree cared for by the National Park Service.

Where the famous trees came from

National Christmas Tree

Palmyra, Pa.

U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree

Carson National

Forest, N.M.

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

Florida, N.Y.

Where the famous trees came from

National Christmas Tree

Palmyra, Pa.

U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree

Carson National

Forest, N.M.

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

Florida, N.Y.

Where the famous trees came from

National Christmas Tree

U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree

Palmyra, Pa.

Carson National

Forest, N.M.

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

Florida, N.Y.

Where the famous trees came from

National Christmas Tree

U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree

Palmyra, Pa.

Carson National

Forest, N.M.

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

Florida, N.Y.

Where the famous trees came from

National Christmas Tree

U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

Florida, N.Y.

Palmyra, Pa.

Carson National

Forest, N.M.

The tree featured in the Blue Room of the White House is the result of a lengthy competition among regional and state Christmas tree organizations and then to a national competition, which results in the winning conifer gracing the famed space. Many state government offices have conifers native to their regions furnishing those buildings for the holidays.


The 2019 Capitol Christmas Tree cutting ceremony took place Nov. 6 at Red River, N.M. This year tree is a 60-foot-tall blue spruce. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal via AP)

The Capitol Christmas Tree is cut down every year from different parts of the country. This year’s tree is from Carson National Forest in New Mexico, and it is decorated with handcrafted ornaments from the people of New Mexico. Annually, a ceremony is held at both the tree-cutting site and on the West Lawn of the Capitol, where the tree is lit.

Both trees in the nation’s capital will be alight through Jan. 1. For your own tree, keep it lit as long as you want (but don’t let it become a fire hazard).

Related Stories

The scene at the lighting of the National Christmas Tree in Washington

Six easy and elegant ways to decorate your home for the holidays

Embrace the wintry weather at holiday lights displays

correction: An earlier version of this graphic used an incorrect figure for the number of trees produced by county. It has been updated.

About this story

Forest cover data sourced from the National Forest Type Dataset from the U.S. Forest Service. Data was filtered to include only species groups commonly sold as Christmas trees. Choose-and-cut tree farm locations are from the National Christmas Tree Association. 2017 tree production data is from the USDA Agricultural Census. Locations for the Capitol tree were sourced from U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree. Rockefeller tree data from news reports cited on Wikipedia. White House tree data from the National Park Service and Post reporting. Consumer survey results sourced from the National Christmas Tree Association.

Laris Karklis and Andrew Van Dam contributed to this report.

’Tis the season to be jolly as we’re just weeks away from the most wonderful holiday of the year. While some may head to the basement to get their artificial Christmas trees out as soon as Thanksgiving dinner is complete, others enjoy the annual tradition of finding and chopping down a real Christmas tree of their own.

Now some people may ask themselves, “When is the right time to cut down my Christmas tree?” If you take good care of your Christmas tree, it can last up to six weeks, so you should be able to pick yours at the beginning of December and still have it looking green and smelling fresh come the New Year. We all know that many of us don’t like taking the tree down as soon as Santa Claus heads back to the North Pole.

According to Mark Derowitsch, a spokesperson for the Arbor Day Foundation, the best way to ensure the most beautiful Christmas tree is to cut your own at a local farm, or to have one cut for you. If you are buying a pre-cut tree from a nursery, store or scout troop, ask them how recently the trees were harvested and where they came from. If you aren’t impressed with the answer, shop elsewhere. Also inspect them yourself by feeling the needles: they should be flexible, not dry and brittle. The fresher the tree, the longer it will last in your living room.

The National Christmas Tree Association also warns consumers to beware of buying a tree that’s losing its needles. Some dropping of older, interior needles is natural and normal. However, if the overall color is faded, the bark of the outer twigs is wrinkled and the green, exterior needles easily fall off with a gentle touch or when the tree is bounced on a hard surface, it is excessively dry.

According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, if you’re buying a tree that can be replanted later, keep in mind that only a very small percentage of Christmas trees will survive after being indoors. Freshly-cut Christmas trees are farmed specifically for indoor decoration and support local agriculture. The top-selling Christmas trees, as reported by growers across the United States, are the Scotch pine, Douglas fir, white pine and balsam fir, in that order.

Some people actually order their Christmas trees online, but it can be a really enjoyable holiday experience for the family to cut down their tree together. Plus, if you want to ensure quality, it’s best to do it in person so you can ask questions and really know what you’re purchasing.

Size also matters when choosing your Christmas tree, and that’s why you should measure the desired location of your tree first. According to Today’s Homeowner, “When you’re out in the open field or at the tree lot, the trees will seem small – many a family has chosen the perfect tree and taken it home, only to discover that it won’t fit in the house!” Don’t plan on trimming or shearing a tree – instead buy one that’s the right size and shape.

However, sometimes you don’t have to go far to find the perfect tree. Sometimes is sitting just feet from your window. Sometimes all you have to do is walk outside your home and you’ll spot the perfectly-shaped Christmas tree in your own backyard. But, chopping a tree isn’t always easy. It may require a professional hand. Thankfully, there are plenty tree cutting services nearby who will gladly assist.

Once you bring your Christmas tree home, there are a number of tips to keep in mind when caring for your tree. First, it’s best to chop off at least one inch from the bottom of the trunk.

Here are some other tips:

  • Gently shake the tree to remove any loose needles. Some centres will do this for you when you buy the tree.
  • If you’re not going to decorate your tree immediately, stand it in a bucket of water and keep it in a cool place such as a garage or shed until you’re ready to take it indoors.
  • Pot the tree with the trunk immersed in water. Don’t use sand or soil in the tree stand as it restricts water from being drawn up the trunk.
  • Stand the tree in the coolest part of the room, ideally next to a window and away from radiators and fires, then top it up with water daily.

PopularMechanics.com also warns people who buys Christmas trees to be wary about the lights they put on the tree as it can lead to a fire risk. “Make sure any lights you put on the tree are in good working order, and are designed for the purpose. Newer LED (light emitting diode) holiday lights cost only pennies a season to run, so they are a good value, while they also decrease fire risk because they stay cooler. Also make sure to keep any open flames away from the tree.”

Maintaining a high moisture level in the tree is the single most important factor in reducing needle loss and keeping the tree fresh, according to Penn State College of Agriculture Sciences. Use water-holding stands and always ensure the water level is above the base of the tree.

The National Christmas Tree Association also advises potential buyers not to add bleach, aspirin, fertilizer or other things to the water in an attempt to make the tree last longer. Research has shown that plain tap water is best. Some commercial additives and home concoctions can actually be detrimental to a tree’s moisture retention and increase needle loss.

Make sure you take the advice above when purchasing and preparing your Christmas tree for the holidays. A little extra attention is well worth it to ensure you will have your most wonderful time of the year. For those in the Portland, Oregon area, tree cutting services are available to you by clicking here.

Tagged as: Christmas, Christmas Tree, Christmas Tree Farm, Tree Chopping

More than three-quarters of American homes displayed some sort of decorated tree last year for Christmas, including a 20-percent jump in live, cut trees fueled partly by the millennial generation’s renewed interest in natural and local products.

A Nielsen poll sponsored by the American Christmas Tree Association says that more than 95 million U.S. households follow the centuries-old, German-origin, Christmas-tree tradition, although about 82 percent of the trees are now artificial ones vs. nearly 18 percent being of the live, cut variety.

“Many consumers are choosing to display multiple Christmas trees and more than one type,” said Jami Warner, executive director of the association, which represents both artificial-tree manufacturers and evergreen growers.

Tree retailers report that second, smaller trees are often bought for children’s bedrooms or play areas.

Some households are even setting up their artificial trees as early as Halloween.

After fluctuating sales in recent years, live-tree sales shot up nearly 20 percent last year from 27.4 million trees to 32.8 million trees, according to a January 2019 Nielsen/Harris poll sponsored by the National Christmas Tree Association, which represents growers.

That was despite the average tree price rising from $75 in 2018 to $78 in 2019, the poll found.

An NCTA report attributes the increased interest in live trees in part to “environmentally conscious millennials who are opting to buy natural, locally grown trees. Demand previously dipped when baby boomers turned to ‘fake’ trees as their kids moved out of the house.”

As one millennial commented in another NCTA survey done in conjunction with the mobile payment company Square Inc.: “If I get a tree from Walmart or Target, they really don’t care what I buy. It’s just another sale to them. I want to support local business owners the same way I want to be supported for what I do. I want to hand my money to the person who put in the work.”

However, the sale of artificial trees also went up last year, rising 12 percent from 21.1 million to 23.6 million, according to NCTA.

Artificial trees last year sold for an average of $104, down $3 from the $107 average in 2018.

More than a quarter of Christmas-tree buyers get their trees at retail lots.

The whens and wheres

Almost all live-tree sales take place in the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The day after Thanksgiving is traditionally the start of the rush.

The NCTA/Square survey found that when you buy makes a difference in price. Last year, for example, prices spiked at $81 per live tree on “Cyber Monday” (the Monday after Thanksgiving) while prices nosedived the week before Christmas, bottoming out at $47 per tree on Christmas Eve.

The top two places where shoppers got their trees last year were from local choose-and-cut farms and from chain stores, such as Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Walmart. Each of those had a 28-percent share of the market.

Another 23 percent of people bought their trees from retail lots, ten percent bought from nurseries and garden centers, six percent bought from nonprofit sources (churches, Scout troops, youth groups, etc.), two percent bought their trees online, and the rest bought from assorted other places, according to NCTA.

Fraser firs grow in the Blue Ridge Christmas Tree Farm in Lebanon County.

Tree farms

Millennials are gravitating toward local tree farms, where they can both pick out and cut their own trees. That’s the No. 1 way to guarantee the freshest of cut trees.

Pennsylvania ranks third in the nation in the number of Christmas tree farms with 1,400 of them, according to the Pennsylvania Christmas Tree Growers Association.

Pennsylvania’s tree farms cover nearly 31,000 acres and produce about 1 million cut trees each year.

PCTGA’s website has a Find a Farm feature that helps consumers zero in on cut-your-own farms near them.

This season was a good one for tree growth, says Mark McCurdy, owner of McCurdy’s Tree Farm near Dillsburg.

He says enough rain came at the right time most of the year, save for September’s hot, dry spell that required irrigation for young trees. Then frost came on schedule to slow growth just before harvest.

Tree-growers sidestep most of the troubles home gardeners have had lately with diseases on their needled evergreens by planting in well drained, well aerated sites and using fungicides to head off infections.

Fraser fir is one of our top two favorite Christmas trees for their soft silvery-blue needles and strong branches.

Which trees we like

McCurdy says Fraser fir and Douglas fir are still neck-and-neck as our two favorite Christmas-tree varieties.

Fraser fir commands top dollar and is a sleek, slender, soft-needled evergreen with silvery undersides. It also has very strong branches to support ornaments and holds needles exceptionally well indoors for weeks.

Fraser fir is a bit more expensive because it’s a slow-grower and more prone to root-rotting in less-than-ideal sites than other species.

“Plus deer like them,” says McCurdy.

Frasers could be in a somewhat tighter supply this year since growers planted fewer of them during the economic downturn in 2008 through 2010. Those are the ones now reaching harvestable size.

A Fraser fir once again won the visitor voting at the 2019 State Farm Show.

Paul and Sharon Shealer’s Evergreen Acres Tree Farm in Schuylkill County took home Grand Champion honors for the Fraser fir they displayed in the annual competition.

Douglas fir is a close second in choice. It’s a fuller, bushier and slightly less expensive option than Fraser fir but also has strong branches, soft needles, and excellent needle retention.

“Concolor fir is gaining popularity,” says McCurdy. “It’s the most aromatic tree with a citrusy smell and a bluish-green color.”

Concolor firs are also soft-needled and have good branch strength and good needle retention.

Balsam and noble firs are two other soft-needled evergreens that have good needle retention and slightly different looks that some people prefer.

Others like the blue foliage of Colorado spruce, but those have stiffer needles that also don’t stay on cut trees as long as firs.

If you like something different, the new kid on the Christmas-tree block is the Nordmann fir. Still a bit hard to find, this one has soft, glossy, dark-green needles, a neatly pyramidal habit, strong branching, and very good needle retention.

Very similar is the Turkish fir, which a few Pennsylvania growers are starting to produce.

Beyond that, you might run into the Korean fir, which is a sleek tree with soft, blue-green needles and excellent needle retention.

Newest of all is a cross between Korean fir and the Southwestern U.S. native corkbark fir called blue Korean fir. This one has foliage as blue as the Colorado spruce except with soft needles and significantly better needle retention.

  • See the PCTGA Selection Guide on 10 species you might run into

The environmental question

Growers and supporters of live trees say artificial trees (which they usually call “fake trees”) are made out of plastic, are imported primarily from China, end up for centuries in landfills, and burn quickly if they catch on fire.

“Live trees are renewable and are grown by local farmers,” says Michelle Keyser, communications director for the PCTGA. “It’s a way people can support local agriculture.”

She says Christmas trees aren’t harvested from the wild but are grown on farms like other crops.

“An average of three seedlings are planted for every one tree cut down,” she says.

Artificial-tree manufacturers and the ACTA say the environmental question is more complicated than face value.

A new study by PE International (commissioned by the ACTA) claims that artificial trees are actually a more eco-friendly choice if you keep an artificial tree nine or more years instead of buying cut trees for nine years straight.

That report found that when you consider factors such as new, longer-lasting LED lights on artificial trees, “tree miles” traveled to get each tree from point of production to living room, and the spraying done and gas used in farm production, the environmental break-even point comes after about eight years. That’s despite the fact that six live trees can be produced for the same energy as one artificial tree.

Neither type of tree, however, has a very large effect on overall environmental impact, the report added.

“From a consumer standpoint, certainly there are merits to both kinds of Christmas trees,” said the ACTA’s Warner. “The decision is based on personal behaviors and is not black or white.”

If you can’t/don’t keep an artificial tree for nine years, ACTA advises, consider donating it instead of scrapping it.

It’s normal to see some brown needles toward the inside of evergreens, left, but brown tips indicate disease as at right.

Pre-cut trees

If you’re buying a pre-cut tree, find out the source of the trees and how long ago they were cut. Trees coming cross-country might have been cut weeks ago.

Some species (especially firs) can hold their needles for six weeks or more, but others (spruce and pines, for example) often drop sooner.

Ways to check for tree freshness:

1.) It’s normal for needled conifers to have some brown needles toward the inner part the branches. That’s how they shed older, no-longer-needed needles. The branch tips, however, should be green (or blue, depending on the species).

Many sellers will shake trees at purchase to “clean” them of brown. Be aware that if there’s a lot of browning inside, the tree won’t look as full.

2.) Bend and pull a few needles. Says the PCTGA: “The needles should bend and not break and should be hard to pull off of the branches. Gently grasp a branch between your thumb and forefinger and pull it toward you. Very few needles should come off in your hand if the tree is fresh. Then shake or bounce the tree on its stump. You should not see an excessive amount of green needles fall to the ground.”

3.) Assess the color. Is it vibrant or somewhat dull or faded in appearance? Tree-shopping in daylight will help you with this one.

  • Watch George’s video on how to pick a fresh tree

If you cut your own…

No worries about freshness here, but consider:

1.) Know your room’s height and width parameters so you have a clue of what size to cut. Take along a measuring tape.

2.) Wear comfortable shoes and old clothes. And check on the farm’s hours and whether it supplies saws (most do). Many offer other festivities on selected days.

3.) Pay attention to the straightness of the trunk in addition to the shape, size and color of the tree itself.

Keeping your tree fresh and safe

Whether you cut your own or buy pre-cut, use these practices to keep the tree fresh through Christmas:

1.) Cut a half-inch slice off the bottom of the trunk before placing the tree in the water reservoir. If you’re using a spike stand, make sure your hole is drilled deeply enough to allow for this cut — or make the cut just before drilling and setting up.

2.) Use a big enough stand and reservoir. Rule of thumb: allow for at least 1 quarter of water capacity for each inch of trunk diameter (i.e. a minimum 1-gallon reservoir for a 4-inch trunk).

3.) Most important: Check water daily to be sure the level never drops below the cut end. This ensures the channels don’t “sap over” and hinder the cut tree’s ability to suck up water. Plain, cool or room-temperature water is fine, by the way. Preservatives do little or nothing to help needle retention.

4.) Display the tree away from fireplaces and the drying air of heat sources.

5.) Use low-heat lights, such as miniatures or LED types, and make sure your light cords and connections are in good working order. Don’t use more than three light sets per extension cord.

Unplug lights when going to bed or when leaving home.

  • Read George’s article on how a tree goes from sapling to Christmas beauty
  • Read George’s article on how hard it is to grow a decent Christmas tree
  • Read the American Christmas Tree Association’s tips on preventing fires from trees

Stauffers of Kissel Hill garden centers display lighted artificial trees in their greenhouses.

If you buy an artificial tree

1.) As with live trees, know how big you can go before buying. Measure before leaving home.

2.) Lean toward high-quality trees that usually last longer than bargain-end trees – especially if you’re environmentally concerned and want to get to that nine-year break-even point claimed in the ACTA study.

3.) Check out online reviews, consult friends on varieties they’ve liked (or not liked), and lean toward retailers with demo trees set up so you can examine quality, looks, lighting, and other features important to you.

4.) Consider the stand. Metal stands are usually most sturdy. Avoid any that are flimsy or wobbly.

5.) Think about storage. Different ones store in different ways and sizes. Make sure candidates fit into the storage space you have.

Lanternfly egg masses, left, can be scraped off if seen on tree bark. Their nymph stage is shown at right.

Allergies and bugs?

Tree shoppers in parts of Pennsylvania were spooked last year by reports of spotted lanternfly eggs riding into homes on Christmas trees and hatching into adult bugs inside.

That turned out to be an overblown fear that isn’t shaping up as a significant concern this year.

For one thing, the bug is still limited primarily to southeastern Pennsylvania counties and small parts of New Jersey, New York, and Virginia.

Second, growers are inspecting for lanternflies and finding the bug isn’t a fan of laying eggs on Christmas-tree conifers (which are apparently too dense for the bug’s liking).

Third, even if you got a tree that had lanternfly eggs in it, the worst that would happen is that a few eraser-sized nymphs would crawl around and quickly die.

Lanternflies pose no threat to people, they don’t bite or sting, and they don’t swarm or live entire winters inside like that other Asian pest, the brown marmorated stinkbug.

If you’re concerned about lanternfly eggs in your Christmas tree, inspect the tree before buying and look for small masses of grayish, mud-like splotches on the bark.

It’s possible for spiders, aphids, and assorted other bugs to be on live trees, but most of those also quickly die in the dry indoor air. Better yet, hose down any tree before taking it inside to dislodge any bugs.

  • Detailed rundown on issue of lanternflies and other bugs that can hitch a ride on Christmas trees from Penn State Extension
  • More on spotted lanternfly on Christmas trees from Penn State Extension

Hosing can also alleviate allergies that some people have when trees are brought into the house.

Few people are allergic to evergreen trees themselves, and by late November and early December when evergreens are harvested, pollen production has long since ceased.

However, trees may harbor pollen from wildflowers or weeds that blew onto the needles as well as dust, molds and fungi.

Use a garden hose to spray down the tree, then leave it to dry for 24 hours before taking it inside to decorate.

Larry Snyder grew this year’s White House Christmas tree.

A Pennsylvania tree in the White House

He may not be remembered for much else, but Benjamin Harrison was the first president to place a Christmas tree in the White House.

It was displayed in 1889 in the Yellow Oval Room and was festooned with toys for the president’s grandkids. Since the White House didn’t have electricity until 1891, wax candles illuminated that first tree.

These days, an NCTA Grand Champion Grower is selected each year to supply a full and flawless-from-all-angles, 18½-foot-tall tree for the White House.

The champion this year is Larry Snyder and his Mahantongo Valley Farms, which grows 50,000 trees in Schuylkill and Northumberland counties.

Snyder supplied a Douglas fir that went to Washington this week.

  • Read more on Snyder and the White House tree

Hershey Gardens holds a Christmas Tree Showcase in its conservatory.

“Role models” to copy

Like looking at decorated Christmas trees? Hershey Gardens is staging its second annual Christmas Tree Showcase in which the Gardens’ Milton and Catherine Hershey Conservatory will display eight 8-foot Fraser firs designed by local florists, plus a 14-foot tree of red and white poinsettias.

The showcase runs Nov. 23 through Jan. 1 during the Gardens’ regular hours. Admission is included with your ticket to the Gardens.

More information is on the Hershey Gardens website.

SFF may receive commissions from purchases made through links in this article. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Autumn is an optimal time to plant trees. As mundane as it may seem compared to solar panels and hybrid cars, planting trees is one of THE most powerful and affordable ways to make a personal difference for the environment. And it’s a fun and educational activity to do with kids, too. Here’s why…

Why We Should Plant More Trees

As we learned in third grade biology, trees are essential to life. They create the very air we breathe and filter air pollution.

What you may not know is that trees also build soil and help soak up stormwater before it can create a flood, and they offer energy-saving shade that reduces global warming and creates habitat for thousands of different species. Trees also help to reduce ozone levels in urban areas.

Most importantly, trees sequester carbon, helping to remove carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from the air, which cools the earth. In fact, a mature canopy tree absorbs enough carbon and releases enough oxygen to sustain two human beings!

The carbon storage capacity of forests is approximately three times as large as the pool of carbon in the atmosphere. If forests are changed, reduced, or eliminated, the captured carbon goes into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide (CO2).

Despite their importance to life as we know it, humans have cut down half of all the trees on the planet so far. Every year we cut down over 50,000 square miles of forest worldwide for paper, agriculture, building materials and fuel. That’s an area the size of the state of Alabama! Every year!

The carbon release from deforestation accounts for 25 to 30 percent of the four to five billion tons of carbon accumulating every year in the atmosphere from human activities.

Much of this wouldn’t be necessary if we reduced, reused and recycled more, cultivated hemp for fuel and fiber, and used sustainable and recycled materials in all our buildings. But until this changes, we need to put the trees back any way we can, as fast as we can!

Have a Tree Planted for You

There are many local, national and international organizations that plant trees, and because planting trees costs relatively little, donating to these organizations can make a big difference.

You can also have trees planted specifically to offset your personal carbon emissions from airplane or car travel. These organizations can help you out:

  • American Forests Global ReLeaf
  • The International Tree Foundation
  • Rainforest Rescue – Restores rainforest species in Australia, Sri Lanka and Indonesia
  • Clear Sky Climate Solutions – Provides carbon offsets through reforestation projects
  • Terrapass – Provides carbon offsets for flying, driving, etc.
  • CarbonFund – Provides a variety of carbon offset projects to choose from.
  • Carbonify.com – Tree planting for offsetting carbon emissions

Also check with your local environmental or parks department for tree planting organizations and events in your community.

Plant a Tree to Improve Your Property

While supporting tree planting organizations is a great way to be eco-friendly, you can also make a difference in your community by planting trees on your own property.

A properly-planted, mature shade tree on the south or west side of your house or business can save you up to 25% on your summer air conditioning bills and increase your property value by up to 20% with its beauty. That same tree will also help soak up stormwater in the neighborhood, and contribute habitat for local wildlife. If you plant a fruit or nut tree, you get food as an added bonus!

You really can’t go wrong by planting trees!

How to Properly Plant a Tree

September through November is the ideal time for planting trees, shrubs and perennials (in the Northern hemisphere) because it allows the roots to become established before the ground freezes and winter sets in. Trees and shrubs planted in the fall are also better equipped to deal with heat, pests and drought the following season.

Another great reason to plant your trees and shrubs in the fall is so you can select them by the fall colors they produce.

Cooler, wetter weather is the perfect time for tree planting, and seasonal rains can often provide all the water the tree needs to establish. However, if the weather is dry you should make sure your shade trees get about 15-20 gallons of water a week, until they go dormant for winter.

Fruit trees and ornamental trees and shrubs can receive a little less. It is very easy to make sure your tree gets the water it needs automatically using a TreeGator device.

Avoid planting broad leaved evergreens like rhododendrons, azaleas, boxwoods and hollies in the fall, because they are not likely to survive winter cold and wind so soon after planting. However, virtually all other temperate shade trees, ornamental/fruit trees, and perennials are perfect for planting in the fall, before the soil gets too cold too dig.

The Arbor Day Foundation has a great video series on how to properly plant a tree. Learn how to plant a tree “

Essential Tree Planting Tips

click to enlarge

Here are a few key tips for proper tree planting that you may not know:

1. A healthy tree’s root system is just as wide as its canopy, so be sure to plant your tree in a location far enough from your house to accommodate both the mature breadth of the tree branches and the mature spread of the tree roots.

Especially consider where your water and sewer pipes are in your yard in relation to your tree’s future root spread. It would be awfully expensive and tragic to have to cut down a 30-foot tall, mature shade tree because its roots were breaking up your plumbing.

2. Make sure your tree is planted at the exact same depth as it was planted in the pot or burlap sack it came in. Planting a tree too deep is a leading cause of tree death because it smothers the roots and introduces moisture and fungus to the trunk.

Planting a tree too shallow will expose too much of the top of the root system to the elements. If you have to move the tree to place more soil beneath it or take some away to get the tree to sit at the right depth during planting, it is worth the work. A tree can last for generations if you plant it right.

3. Never pile mulch around the trunk of your tree! I know people do this all the time everywhere you go, but it is a very harmful practice for the tree and shortens its lifespan greatly. While you should always mulch your trees, piling up the mulch around the trunk like a volcano introduces wood-rotting bacteria and fungus from the mulch directly to the living, growing bark of the tree. The moisture build-up and fungus will often girdle or kill the tree before it can reach maturity.

The proper way to place mulch around a tree is in a “doughnut” shape that doesn’t allow the rotting mulch to come into contact with the living bark. (See image above.)

4. Don’t use stakes unless absolutely necessary. If the tree is grown and dug properly at the nursery, staking for support will be unnecessary. Trees establish more quickly and develop stronger trunk and root systems if they are not staked at the time of planting, but instead are allowed to adapt to local conditions. However, protective staking may be necessary where lawn mower damage, vandalism, or windy conditions are concerns.

This fall, consider planting a tree or two on your property, or help with a tree planting in your community. And this holiday season, consider a generous donation to a non-profit that plants trees or does reforestation work.

We all benefit greatly from living among more trees. A future with fewer trees is a future less secure for humans.

This article was excerpted from my book Sustainability Starts at Home – How to Save Money While Saving the Planet. For more money-saving, planet-friendly tips, check out the book by clicking below.

What you need to know about cutting down trees on your property

There are strict rules for removing trees on your property and they vary not only by state but by local council. Think twice before cutting down a tree on your property without checking the rules first.

Why would you want to remove a tree?

You may need to remove a tree from your property for the following reasons:

  • It has become diseased or infested with termites or similar wood-eating insects.
  • It has been planted in the incorrect position in relation to the house.
  • It is posing some form of threat to you or your neighbours’ safety.
  • It is dead or dying.
  • You want to do renovations or add another building or shed and it is in the way.

How much does tree removal cost?

To get a tree removed from your property, you can hire tree fellers, or loppers, who can cut down the tree. You can also hire stump removalists separately. The other option is to hire an arborist who can take care of both cutting down the tree and stump removal.

In general, the cost of removing a tree can range from $500 up to $6,000 per tree depending on the factors listed below:

  • Size of the tree, including height and branch reach
  • Location of the tree
  • Ease or difficulty of access
  • Safety precautions that are needed
  • Transportation and tipping fees that may apply

Find out how much it costs to landscape your outdoor area

Arborist vs tree feller

Service Arborist Tree feller
Tree removal (including pruning, cutting up and taking down) y y
Tree consulting y n
Tree maintenance y n
Tree surgery y n
Stump removal y y
Removal of tree product n y

State-by-state rules around tree removal

Despite the fact that a tree may be located solely on your property does not mean you have free rein to remove it. In fact, removing a tree from your property without proper approvals from your local council can incur hefty fines.

Nationally, native species are all protected and require approval before any removal. You will also need to supply specific reasons for the removal. In most states, this rule against removing native tree species only applies to rural areas. ACT and South Australia are the only states to have blanket rules against removing native tree species. Trees that have heritage and Aboriginal heritage significance also have protection on a national level.

The tree species that are exempt from this protection are pest species. You are also exempt when it comes to pruning protected trees for maintenance or when intervention is in the best interest of the tree.

Choose your state

New South Wales

Each council holds the ultimate say when it comes to approval for tree removal. Councils use two tools to assist them: Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) and Local Environment Plans (LEPs).

You can remove trees from your property without council approval as long as it isn’t a significant tree. Most councils will have significant tree registries where they list the trees that you will need specific approval before removing them. Some are listed below:

LEPs are used to incorporate significant tree registries into council guidelines. Some of the guidelines a few New South Wales councils use to identify significant trees include the following:

  • Landscape amenity
  • Historical importance
  • Botanical importance
  • Aboriginal importance
  • Functional purpose (shade, habitat, avenue windbreaks)

In addition to LEPs, some councils use TPOs to control what can be done to trees that are not considered, or not listed, as significant trees. TPOs can be applied to native and non-native trees, and they take into account the specific details of the tree and how it is impacting the land when deciding on protection.

You may get approval to remove a tree that is protected either by a TPO or LEP for the following reasons:

  • The tree is dead or damaged or is about to fall or cause some other immediate damage.
  • There are problems with the roots blocking the plumbing or other pipes on the property.
  • The tree is threatening a building or structure on the property or an adjoining property.
  • Your neighbour has asked to erect a dividing fence and there is a tree on the boundary that will impede this.
  • Branches are threatening roof materials or other damage.
  • Overhanging branches are causing concern or a nuisance.
  • Your local council may add conditions to any consent they give for tree removal.

Breaching the terms of a TPO can come with a maximum penalty in local court of $110,000 and a maximum penalty in Land and Environment Court of $1.1 million.

If you live in an area within close proximity of bushland or that may be prone to bushfires, you will also need to adhere to the NSW Rural Fire Service’s 10/50 vegetation clearing rule. This allows you to clear any trees within 10 metres of your home without seeking approval if you live in areas near bushland. It also allows you to clear low lying vegetation such as shrubs from your property without seeking approval if they are within 50 metres of your home.

You can check here if you live in an area where the 10/50 rule applies

Victoria

Similar to New South Wales, there are two tools utilised by the Victorian government for the protection and management of vegetation. At a state level, vegetation is managed through Victorian Planning Provisions (VPP) and at a local government level through Vegetation Protection Overlays (VPOs).

VPOs are used by 63% of Victorian local councils to specify the vegetation that each council designates as being protected in their local area. The protected vegetation may include trees, stands of trees or areas of significance for the district. Here’s an example of the VPO rules on tree removal according to City of Monash council website.

Find your local Victorian council website here.

Other overlays that can affect whether you can remove a tree include the Environmental Significant Overlay, the Significant Landscape Overlay, the Erosion Management Overlay and the Salinity Management Overlay as well as Heritage Overlays.

Councils can also create local laws to protect vegetation separate from any VPPs that may be in place for the area.

The trees to be included on significant tree registers, which are created by each council, are done by a council-wide survey which allows community involvement in deciding which trees to protect. This register is then published on the council website with details as to why the tree is included, photos and comments about how to best manage the tree for optimal health.

Girth is one of the determining factors for a tree to be included on the significant tree register but the actual size differs depending on the council area. Girth sizes can range from 400mm to 3500mm. The following factors are also considered:

  • Canopy size
  • Heritage value
  • Aesthetic value

You are required to get a permit from the local council before the removal, destruction or lopping of any trees or vegetation. Infringement notices and minor penalties are handed out for any removal, destruction or lopping without a permit with larger fines only coming after the breach of court orders.

There are exemptions to the above rules when tree removal is being done to protect your property from bushfires. Victorians adhere to the same 10/50 rule that New South Wales does, but the state also has the 10/30 rule. The 10/30 rule is similar to the 10/50 rule in that you can clear vegetation within 10 metres of buildings used for accommodation and remove trees within 30 metres of buildings used for accommodation. The 10/30 rule applies to most of the state with some exceptions, and the 10/50 rule applies to areas covered by the Bushfire Management Overlay.

Find out more about the vegetation exemptions in Victoria due to bushfire preparation here

Queensland

Each local council in Queensland manages their own laws and regulations around tree and vegetation management. This makes it more complicated in Queensland than other states to know the rules around tree removal as the other states have state-level laws that are merely tweaked for local council areas.

The following laws are used to protect trees:

  • Protection of Vegetation
  • Natural Assets Local Law
  • Preservation of Trees
  • Vegetation Management

You cannot remove trees that are protected under Vegetation Protection Orders.

The Queensland government also has a database of local laws you can look at to see the rules in your particular area.

You can also review the Neighbourhood Dispute Resolution Act 2011 to find out your rights and responsibilities as a tree owner or tree keeper.

Even the exemptions related to vegetation clearing for bushfire season are on a local level rather than a state level. You can find this information in the Fire and Rescue Service Act 1990 or by contacting your local council. You should prepare for bushfire season by clearing vegetation, mowing your grass regularly and trimming low lying branches from trees that surround your home so the branches are two metres from the ground.

ACT

Of all the states and territories, the ACT has the most comprehensive tree-specific legislation, the ACT Tree Protection Act 2005. Under the act, a tree can either be a registered tree or a regulated tree. Registered trees are protected due to their individual importance through a registration process which is similar to heritage listing. You can find the list of trees that are considered registered on the ACT Tree Register.

Regulated trees are trees growing in a declared Tree Management Precinct that meet the following criteria:

  • The tree is 12 or more metres high.
  • The tree has a trunk with a circumference of 1.5 metres or more, one metre from the ground.
  • The tree has two or more trunks and the sum of their individual circumferences at one metre above ground is 1.5 metres or more.
  • The tree has a canopy 12 metres or wider.

You can find more information about the Tree Management Precinct in our news story here.

If a tree is classified as regulated or listed on the registry, you are not allowed to cause any damage to it without approval from the government. You can, however, do some minor pruning without approval as long as it adheres to the Australian Standard on Pruning and doesn’t affect the general appearance of the tree.

Standard pruning is limited to the following:

  • Removing deadwood
  • Removing limbs with a diameter of 50mm or less
  • The first pruning of the tree in the calendar year, which affects less than 10% of the canopy and does not change the overall shape of the canopy
  • Pruning is done for fruit production

Certain groundwork is also prohibited without approval:

  • Changing the soil level, except for the preparation of garden beds, the planting of trees and shrubs, or other cultivation for horticultural purposes
  • Contaminating the soil
  • Cutting any roots with a diameter greater than 50mm

Penalties associated with breaches of the ACT Tree Protection Act 2005 can range from $7,000 up to $56,000 for individuals and $35,000 up to $280,000 for corporations.

You can make an application “to undertake a tree damaging activity” or register a tree here.

South Australia

Any rules and regulations around the protection and removal of trees or vegetation are included in the Development Act 1993. The act categorises trees located in Adelaide metro and the Adelaide Hills area as regulated or significant.

These two categories are defined as follows:

  • Regulated. The trunk circumference is two metres or more at one metre above ground level or for multiple trunks, the average circumference of each is 625mm or more.
  • Significant. The trunk circumference is three metres or more at one metre above ground or for multiple trunks, the average circumference of each is 625mm or more.

In order to get approval to remove a tree that falls into one of the above categories, you will need to get advice from an expert or a technical report from someone with a minimum of Cert V in Horticulture (arboriculture). If you receive approval, you must then do the following:

  • You must plant two trees for any regulated tree that is removed or destroyed.
  • You must plant three trees for any significant tree that is removed or destroyed.
  • You must pay $75 into the local council’s Urban Tree Fund. This can be applied to planting trees which will become significant or to purchase land for planting significant trees.
  • If you do not fulfil these conditions or you remove or destroy a significant or regulated tree without approval, you can be hit with a fine up to $60,000.

The following exemptions allow you to remove a tree without approval from the council:

  • Any tree within 10 metres of an existing dwelling or in-ground pool unless it is a willow myrtle or any eucalyptus species.
  • Any tree within 20 metres of a dwelling in a medium- or high-risk bushfire area.

Any declared pest plant or any plants on the list below:

  • Box elder (Acer negundo)
  • Silver maple (Acer saccharinum)
  • Tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima)
  • Evergreen alder (Alnus acuminate subsp. Glabrata)
  • European nettle tree (Celtis australis)
  • Chinese nettle tree (Celtis sinensis)
  • Camphor laurel (Cinnamomum camphora)
  • Monterey cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa)
  • Figs (Ficus spp.)
  • Moreton Bay fig (other than Ficus macrophylla located more than 15 metres from a dwelling)
  • Narrow‐leaved ash (Fraxinus angustifolia)
  • Desert ash (Fraxinus angustifolia ssp. Oxycarpa)
  • Norfolk Island hibiscus (Lagunaria patersonia)
  • Prickly‐leaved paperbark (Melaleuca styphelioides)
  • Radiata pine / Monterey pine (Pinus Radiata)
  • London plane (Platanus x acerifolia)
  • White poplar (Populus alba)
  • Lombardy poplar (Populus nigra var. italica)
  • Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)
  • Weeping willow (Salix babylonica)
  • Chilean willow, evergreen willow, pencil willow (Salix chilensis ‘Fastigiata’ )
  • Crack willow (Salix fragilis)
  • White crack willow, basket willow (Salix X rubens)
  • Golden weeping willow (Salix X sepulcralis var. chrysocoma)
  • Peppercorn tree (Schinus areira)

Individual councils may have separate development plans that affect your property, so it would be best to also consult your local council. There are other exemptions or rules that apply to native vegetation if you are preparing your property for bushfire season. You can access these on the South Australian Country Fire Service website.

Western Australia

Similarly to Queensland, Western Australia’s rules and regulations around the removal of trees are governed by each individual council, and some councils have more complicated guidelines than others. You can check the local council’s website to get details of what are considered significant trees. Each council has its own significant tree register, and each council has its own criteria for selecting these trees.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services in Western Australia asks residents to make sure they have a building protection zone in order to help prevent bushfires. This includes keeping rubbish, long grass and other material at least 20 metres from your home and trimming low lying branches.

Read more about this on the Department of Fire & Emergency Services (DFES) website

Tasmania

On a state level, there are protections and regulations for tree removal that form part of the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993. This allows for each council to establish individual schemes to control land use and vegetation.

Most of Tasmania’s councils have significant tree registers, with some using tree protection orders to assist in the protection of these trees. You typically need to ask for approval from your local council to remove a tree unless it is close to a house, is a fire risk, is causing issues with drainage or is diseased. Some councils don’t have a significant tree register and they only require a permit if the tree is more than three metres tall, regardless of species.

In order to help prevent bushfires or protect your home from bushfire damage, you can remove a tree if it poses a bushfire risk.

Tasmania has fines of up to $10,000 for those who don’t get approval to remove a tree from their property.

Northern Territory

There are no tree specific protections in Northern Territory legislation when they are on private land, except if they are classified as a heritage item according to the Heritage Conservation Act. Most councils protect trees that are located on public land within bylaws. Trees may also be protected under the National Trust list of significant trees, so it is always best to check with your local council or the National Trust Trees website.

As each state and territory differ in how they handle the removal of trees on your property, it would be best to seek advice from your local council before removing or damaging a tree on your property.

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Tips for Cutting Down Your Own Christmas Tree

Cutting down your own Christmas tree is a fun family tradition that gives you adventure, fresh air and a respect for nature. It’s a fun excuse for a little physical exercise in the great outdoors and wonderful reason for your family to spend some time together.

While you might expect a pro-nature argument against cutting down a live tree, it’s actually the opposite. When you choose a real tree over a plastic artificial one, you help both the environment and your community. While there are benefits of artificial trees (convenience and accessibility), we hope you’ll consider a real tree this year, for environmental and economic reasons. A there’s no better way to find the perfect real tree than getting out there and cutting down your own!

Benefits of a real tree

Artificial trees will last for seven to ten years in your home, but centuries in a landfill. Artificial trees are produced in overseas factories, with less stringent environmental regulations, poorer working conditions and lower wages. On the other hand, real Christmas trees are produced locally, from sunlight, rainfall and soil. In the U.S. alone, there are more than 15,000 Christmas tree farms. Those farms grow approximately 350 million trees and employ over 100,000 people.

Planted like an agricultural crop, these trees provide wildlife habitat, air filtration and prevent soil erosion as they grow until they are harvested and replaced by another tree. Each tree grows for an average of eight years. A fresh cut Christmas tree is recyclable and biodegradable. Once used, the tree can be chipped for mulch, burned, or land filled, where it will naturally break down over time. There are also thousands of Christmas tree recycling programs across the U.S. Trees are used to make sand and soil erosion barriers or placed in ponds for fish shelter.

Forest or farm

If you want to cut down your own tree, you can either go to a tree farm or venture into the woods to find your own. If you want that extra sense of adventure, head into the woods, but be prepared. Some areas require a permit to cut down a tree (usually a nominal fee). There may be areas where cutting is restricted or allowed only during a certain time. The size of tree (diameter of the trunk at the base) may be regulated and gas powered tools (chainsaws) may not be allowed, so tools are limited to axes or handsaws.

There are lots of benefits of cutting down a live tree from the forest. It provides more room for remaining trees to grow, which are less stressed and better situated to cope with disease and insects. Reducing competition allows for easier access to water, nutrients, and sunlight and reduces wildfire risk by providing less potential fuel for a fire.

If you go to a Christmas tree farm, you will be supporting your local community. Farm trees will be much more uniform in size and shape. Trees are usually grown in rows so they get plenty of sunlight to form a symmetrical shape. They’re usually anywhere from 3 to 10 feet in height and cost an average of $55/tree. Christmas trees are grown in all 50 states, so there’s bound to be a farm by you (check out this website for state-by-state info).

Tips for cutting your own tree

We’ve been cutting down our own Christmas tree from a local farm (Eckert’s in Belleville, Illinois) for the last few years. It’s become one of our family’s favorite annual traditions. Riding the tractor out to the field and choosing the perfect tree is always a fun outing for the kids. Plus, there’s always a lot of other fun holiday related activities to do at Eckert’s, including making gingerbread houses, visiting Santa and story time.

Over the last few years, we’ve learned a few lessons about cutting down our own tree, which we’re happy to pass on to you! So, before you embark on your own tree-chopping journey, here are some things to keep in mind.

  1. Don’t go too early – the best time for cutting your own Christmas tree is between late November and mid-December. The average time a well-watered cut tree holds its needles is 3-4 weeks.
  2. Measure your space – make sure you measure both the place in your house where the tree with go (height & width) and the space in your vehicle where you’ll be transporting your tree.
  3. Take a tape measure – a lot of farms will provide measuring tapes or sticks, but it’s always best to bring your own. Expert parenting tip: if you have more than one kid, bring a tape measure for each so there’s no fighting over it.
  4. Boots and gloves – wear sturdy boots that protect your feet and good, heavy-duty work gloves. Sunglasses also protect your eyes from rogue pine needs. Wet wipes are great for removing sap from hands and fingers.
  5. Do a walk through – before you choose your tree, walk through the grounds and scope them all out. Sometimes trees are arranged by size, shape, breed, etc. Get a lay of the land before making your final decision. Also, when you think you’ve found the perfect tree, walk-around the entire tree to make sure there are no bald spots, dead patches or animals living in the tree.
  6. Test for freshness – in order to make sure your chosen tree is fresh, run a branch through your enclosed hand. The needles should not come off easily. Bend the outer branches – they should be pliable. If they are brittle and snap easily, the tree is too dry.
  7. Lightweight saw – it’s best to use a lightweight saw that is meant for cutting live trees. Most farms will provide these for you; just call the farm ahead of your visit to make sure.
  8. Cut low – cut your Christmas tree low to the ground and quickly, if possible. The low cut will allow the tree to re-sprout a central leader to form another Christmas tree for the future. Once the tree starts to lean over, finish your saw cuts quickly. Don’t push the tree over. That can cause the bark to rip and splinter. It is best to have an assistant support the tree as you are cutting.
  9. Shake it – the tree may well have become home to birds, bugs and spiders during the year, so once it’s cut, shake it! A vigorous shaking will not only get rid of loose pine needles, but will also evict Charlotte (and her web). Lots of farms will shakes your chosen tree on a mechanical shaker for no additional cost.
  10. Be careful during transport – be careful not to break branches or bend the thin part at the top. Also, you should prepare your vehicle for transport. If you’re putting on top of your car, bring ropes or tie-downs. If you’re going to put it in the vehicle, bring a large tarp or blanket to keep any pine needles from shedding all over.
  11. Ensure freshness – when you get your tree home, take a 1 inch slice off the bottom of the trunk where the tree was cut to allow it to soak up nutrients and water faster. Get the tree into water as soon as possible. Make sure the water is not too cold (it can shock the tree).

I hope you and your family try a real tree this holiday season! And for an extra adventure, cut down your own tree. Make it a family tradition. Don’t feel guilty – it’s good for the environment! And it feels great to get outside together and choose a tree as a family. I guarantee you’ll have fun and make amazing memories while you’re at it. Don’t forget your camera!

New South Wales and ACT, Australia Christmas Tree Farms 2020

Whether you want to cut your own tree, pick a live tree and have it cut for you, buy a tree already cut or buy a living tree you can plant, this page provides detailed listings of New South Wales and ACT, Australia’s choose-and-cut Christmas tree farms, places to buy pre-cut (also called pre-harvested and fresh-cut) trees, stands, sleigh rides, hay rides and related winter events and fun. Some listings are for tree farms, others are tree lots, and some only offer hay rides, sleigh rides or other winter events. READ EACH LISTING to know what each facility offers. The farms are listed further down this page, so scroll down the page! Since this service is free and open to ALL Christmas tree farms, not just those who belong to an association or pay for an ad, like almost all other websites do, this is the most complete and current listing available! I’m always looking for more to add, and to correct any inaccuracies or errors, so if you encounter any, please email me ! And beware the copycat websites – from Monny-bloggers to out-and-out plagiarists, they simply copy my work; they are just out to make a quick buck. Since 2004, I am make updates and corrections every day! (let me know if you see copycats!)

If it has just snowed; see this page about how to make snocones from real snow! Your kids will love it!

Tips:

  • If the name of the farm is blue with an underline; that’s a link to their website. Click on it for the most current hours and information.
  • ALWAYS call the farm or store BEFORE YOU GO – many farms and lots are selling out of trees early this year – Call to confirm their supply, their hours and whether they have trees, are allowing choose-and-cut or just precut trees; and which attractions or winter activities are available. All three can change during the short Christmas season, due to weather, demand and the farmer’s business conditions! Farms get sold, shut down or run out of trees, and they don’t all update me every day, let alone every year. For !
    DON’T DRIVE OUT THERE IF YOU CAN’T REACH THEM (by phone, email or find current information on their website or Facebook page!
  • And please tell the farmer you visit in New South Wales and ACT, Australia that you found their farm here! I need the farmers to realize that you found them here so that they will keep their information up to date!
  • After Christmas, click here to find how how and where to easily recycle or dispose of your Christmas tree! And to recycle used, broken or old Christmas lights and electronics See this page for local options to easily recycle your Christmas holiday lights

And if you know of one I missed and want to add it or correct the information, please let me know! There are affiliate links on this page. Read our disclosure policy to learn more.

Updates for February 2020

February 2020: Most Christmas tree farms open on the the last weekend in November and are open up to Christmas Eve.Some are only open on weekends, or only have hayrides, Santa visits and events on weekends.

Christmas tree farms, lots and activities, sorted by county

Click on Resources above, if you need a county map

The most common variety grown is the Monterey Pine, but if you look around, you will find some others, like the Blue Spruce. Be sure to check prices with the farms; many don’t update me every year. There must be more Christmas tree farms and lots in Australia, but there sure do hide well! If you know of any, write me !

ACT

  • Christmas Tree Keng – Christmas trees- you choose and you cut, Christmas trees- you choose and we cut,
    242 Shingle Hill Way Federal Highway, Canberra, ACT 2621. Phone: 62369689. Email: [email protected] . Email: [email protected] Open: Weekends: 9 am to 5 pm Weekdays: 3 pm to 6 pm All other times please ring for appointment or email us; Christmas Trees: Dec 1 to Dec 24. Directions: From Canberra: We are 15 mins from Canberra. To get here take the Federal Highway towards Goulburn. Go past the 2 overhead bridges. Immediately after Middleton VC Rest Area turn left onto Shingle Hill Way. We are 2.4 km on the right (242 Shingle Hill Way). . Payment: Please email or ring us for this year’s prices. (in 2019, the price is $65 for all trees)

New South Wales

  • AAA Christmas Tree Farm – Christmas trees- you choose and we cut, Precut Christmas trees,
    2215 The Northern Rd, Luddenham NSW 2745, NSW, Australia. Phone: (02) 4773 4285. Alternate phone: (02) 9546-4372 (night). Open: everyday 29th of November until 24th of December, Hours: 8:30am to 5 pm daily. Directions: Opposite the Shell Service Station and Adams Rd, Look for the big ‘Triple A’ Marque. Triple A Live Christmas Tree Farm. We have hundreds of Christmas trees to choose from – small to large. Wrapping available – why would you go anywhere else? For all enquires call Allan and Ken.
  • Christmas Tree Man – Precut Christmas trees, , delivery
    401 Nandi Road, Wingello NSW 2579. Phone: (02) 4884 1302. Phone: (02) 4884 1544. Mobile: 0418 232 059. Email: [email protected] Open: UPDATE: December 2019: Sold out of trees; They are closed until next season (2020). We sell real Christmas trees that are freshly cut from our farm. Free Delivery. Delivered straight to your door within 1 day of being cut at the farm.
  • Dural Christmas Tree Farm – Christmas trees- you choose and we cut, Precut Christmas trees, Santa appearances, live reindeer, Christmas decorations, live real reindeer, picnic area, petting zoo, farm animals
    879 Old Northern Road, Dural, 2158. Phone: 02 9651 1010. Fax: 02 9651 5052. Email: [email protected] Open: 9 am to 6 pm every day from early November until 23 December. Directions: Opposite Hargraves Nursery and Dural Public School. If using a GPS to help you find us, please use 881 Old Northern Road, Dural as there is an error with 879 which will take you towards Wisemans Ferry. Open for tagging from early November; Harvesting until 23 December. Payment: Cash, Debit cards, Visa/MasterCard. Farm animals and visits from Santa on weekends during December up until Christmas. OUR CHRISTMAS TREES WILL ALSO BE AVAILABLE AT Carriage Works Farmer’s Market (FORMERLY KNOWN AS EVELEIGH FARMERS’ MARKET) ON 30 NOVEMBER, 7 DECEMBER AND 14 DECEMBER 2019.
    Christmas tree varieties:
    You Choose and We cut varieties: Monterey Pine.
    PreCut varieties: Monterey Pine.
  • Karl’s Christmas Trees Middle Dural – Christmas trees- you choose and you cut, Christmas trees- you choose and we cut,
    1329 Old Northern Road, Glenorie, New South Wales, Australia 2157. Phone: 61 413 931 931. Open: from Saturday November 29th on Weekends from 9 am to 6 pm and Weekdays from 10 am to 5:30 pm. Since 1988, Karl’s Christmas Trees have offered fresh, locally grown ​and hand shaped Christmas trees. Bring your family out, choose and cut your own Christmas Tree! We provide you with a hand saw, but you’re welcome to bring your own. If you’d like a hand cutting a tree, let us know, and we are always happy to help! Feel free to bring your furry mates too. We Only Sell Fresh Trees- NO Buckets. We dont import pre-cut trees. Karl’s Christmas Trees Middle Dural facebook page.
  • Kemps Creek Christmas Tree Farm – UPDATE for 2019, Their Facebook page says they are closed indefinitely
    105 Cross Street, Kemps Creek, NSW 2178. They’ve been closed since 2016. They say they are replanting and letting new trees grow.
  • Merlino’s Christmas Trees – Precut Christmas trees, Living Christmas trees (to plant later),
    260 Great North Road, Wareemba, NSW 2046. Phone: 0297 132861. Email: [email protected] Open: Late November through to Christmas Eve 7 days a week 9 am to 6 pm. Directions: Payment: Cash, Debit cards, Visa/MasterCard. We sell shaped freshly cut christmas trees and live potted christmas trees direct to the public from our warehouse in Five Dock, Sydney. Our Christmas Trees are available in a variety of sizes. Christmas Trees Delivery is free for the following suburbs – Wareemba, Abbotsford, Chiswick, Drummoyne, Russell Lea, Five Dock & Canada Bay. To ensure you find your perfect real christmas tree, we do require you to visit our store to pre-select from our available range. Delivery days are Monday, Wednesday & Friday after 7 pm. For Saturday deliveries please enquire. Installation is not provided so please ensure you have someone available to assist you to set up your real cut christmas tree.
    Christmas tree varieties:
    PreCut varieties: Monterey Pine.
    Living, rooted tree varieties: Blue Spruce, Monterey Pine.
  • North Coast Coramba Farms – Christmas trees- you choose and we cut, Precut Christmas trees,
    49 Kings Ridge Forest Road, Coramba, NSW, Australia, 2450. Phone: (02) 6654 4282. Mobile: 0427 660 282. Open: Weeknights from 4 pm to 7 pm, weekends from 10 am to 5 pm, throughout December. Directions: on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales, Australia not far west from Coffs Harbour. See their website for directions. Payment: Cash, only. We offer delivery within a reasonable distance of our location. Coramba Farms grow and sell real Christmas trees on the North Coast of New South Wales. We supply our lush green Christmas trees to Coffs Harbour, Grafton, Port Macquarie, Nambucca, Bellingen and Dorrigo. Our agent in Port Macquarie is Steve at Ground FX Landscape Supplies. Phone 02 65833305 or visit 15 John Fraser PI, Port Macquarie. Real Christmas trees, grown right here on the north coast of New South Wales. From humble beginnings, the farm now has more than 13000 trees on 125 acres of land, and supplies trees from the Gold Coast through to Port Macquarie. Each tree takes up to three years to grow, and all are expertly pruned during that time to ensure they maintain their traditional, Christmas tree look. Come to the farm and choose your own Or buy online for collection.
    Our Farm at Coramba is an easy 15 minute drive west of Coffs Harbour. Come out and explore the plantation, pick out your tree from our four different sizes (small through extra-large), and we’ll cut it for you then and there. We can even net it for you to ensure it stays neat and tidy (for your car) and free from accidental branch breakages. Netting available. Larger trees available on request. Trees purchased online are cut fresh on your selected delivery date and netted. If picking up from the farm, netting is at an addition cost.
  • Parma Christmas Tree Farm (formerly, The Real Christmas Tree Farm) – Christmas trees- you choose and we cut,
    751 Parma Road, Nowra, New South Wales, Australia. Phone: 0417 684 001. Email: [email protected] Open: Saturday 30th November from 8am to 6pm daily until Christmas Eve. Directions: From Nowra turn right into Parma Rd (about 6km south of Maccas)follow signs for 7.5km to the farm. Heading north into Nowra take first left after Jervis Bay Rd into Parma Rd then follow signs for 7.5 km to TheReal Christmas Tree Farm. And for a map to our farm, Our products are usually available in December. . Their website appears to be down, so check their Facebook page. Payment: Payment is cash or cheque. Christmas Trees are are NZ Radiata shaped 3 to 4 times a Year. (UPDATED: December 10, 2019, JBS) (ADDED: December 01, 2014, jbs)
  • Santa’s Shaped Christmas Trees P/L – Christmas trees- you choose and we cut,
    4144 Gundaroo Rd, Gundaroo NSW 2620. Phone 02 6236 8246. Mobile: 04 2736 8246. Email [email protected] Open: weekend starting the last Saturday in November, Closes 24th December, 7 days, from 8 am till 6 pm and closing at 4 pm on 24 December 2010. Directions: . A park-like setting where you and your family can stroll around and choose your very own Christmas Tree. Bring a picnic basket and enjoy the bush experience. Children can experience feeding our pet sheep and lambs with “sheep nuts” provided by us. A simple 4 step process!
    Step 1 Choose your Tree Size
    Step 2 Select a Stand (Optional)|
    Step 3 Pickup or Delivery – Once you have selected your ideal tree we will harvest it for you and transport it to your vehicle.
    Step 4 -Enjoy your Christmas!
    You will need to either bring a trailer or have a suitable vehicle in which to transport the tree. You may need to bring some tie down ropes or a net for your vehicle. We recommend the use of a trailer; however, depending on your car type, most trees can be carried inside the car. We can net your tree so you can place it on the roof rack/roof secured with rope or ocky straps. This method is not recommended for small cars with soft body panels.You will need to either bring a trailer or have a suitable vehicle in which to transport the tree. You may need to bring some tie down ropes or a net for your vehicle. We recommend the use of a trailer; however, depending on your car type most trees can be carried inside the car, after we have netted them, or on the roof rack/roof, with the aid of ocky straps. This method is not recommended for small cars with soft body panels.
  • Sydney Christmas Tree Farm – Christmas trees , choose and cut
    ‘Namba Forest’, 6 Namba Road, Duffys Forest, NSW 2084. Phone: 02 9450 2027. Email: [email protected] . . Open: Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 4.30 pm to 6 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm, from December 1. Directions: 5 km off Ring Road 3 (Mona Vale Rd) 3 doors before Waratah Park Wildlife Park . Directions: 5 km off Ring Road 3 (Mona Vale Rd) 3 doors before Waratah Park Wildlife Park . Choose your own fresh tree from our farm. Trees are grown and pruned for the Christmas tree market. When large trees run out we can source from elsewhere. Cost guide (note, bushiness varies from tree to tree): In 2019, $80 for 5ft tree up to $165 for 8ft tree. Payment: cash or bank transfer upon purchase. Sorry, we do not have credit card facilities.
  • Tomalong Christmas Tree Farm – Christmas trees- you choose and we cut,
    96 96 Pitt Town Road, Kenthurst, NSW 2156. Phone: 0417 927 606. Alternate Phone: 02 9654 9705. Fax: 02 9654 8889. Open: from the end of November, 7 days a week, all daylight hours. Directions: Central Northern Sydney, Hills District; Less than 10 minutes from Round Corner. Just after you get to the Kenthurst Shops, turn left into Pitt Town Road and we are about 4 minutes down on the left hand side, just after Campbell Road.. Choose your own tree and cut it fresh (or allow us to help) for $50. Wander over the farm and enjoy the delightful bushland setting. Make it a fun, annual family outing to the beautiful Hills District. There’s lots to see and do, with farm gate sales of fruit, flowers and plant nurseries, with numerous cafes and art studios. Home Delivery Service: you can choose your tree from our range of domestic or corporate trees. We’ll deliver throughout the Sydney Area and we’ll also collect your tree after Christmas. We also offer full installation, decoration and lighting services. Corporate Sales: Huge trees for Outdoor locations, Feature Trees for Corporate Events or Christmas Specials. From their semi rural setting, the Thomas family operate the hugely popular Tomalong Christmas Tree Farm, as featured on both Better Homes and Gardens and Burke’s Backyard. Enjoy your trip to the beautiful Hills District, with roadside stalls for peaches, nectarines and cut flowers, with cafes and galleries also available to make your visit one that you’ll look forward to each year. Many of our customers bring a sheet to wrap their tree in. This makes cleaning pine needles out of the car easy. Tomalong is a ‘Cut Your Own’ Christmas Tree Farm; Bring the whole family and create a new Christmas tradition. In 2019, ALL TOMALONG TREES ARE $80
    PLUS, we have some really big trees in the shed, prices as marked (ranging from $80-$150) Payment: Cash, Bank Transfer Available.
    We also supply Christmas Tree stands. Robust, stable, adjustable, they will keep your tree upright, and are easy to use. They hold water to keep the pine needles and branches from drooping. – (UPDATED: December 01, 2014, JBS)
  • Top Shape Live Christmas Trees – UPDATE for 2019, Their website/Facebook page says they are closed indefinitely Christmas trees- you choose and you cut,
    2452450 The Northern Rd, Luddenham NSW 2745. Phone: 0421 152 098. Open: Due to the re-alignment of The Northern Road & Elizabeth Drive, Luddenham, Top Shape Live Christmas Tree’s must with great sadness inform all our loyal customers that this will be our last season trading from our current location. Top Shape will be open this season and will relocate in due course. We will continue to supply quality Christmas Trees to so many wonderful families throughout the Greater Sydney region and beyond. We aim to keep this family Christmas tradition alive for many years to come.
    . Directions: Corner of Elizabeth Dr and The Northern Rd at the Roundabout -You Can’t Miss Us. Choose and cut your own fresh Christmas tree! All Sized Trees. Stands and wrapping are also sold on site. For a fun family day out, get into the Christmas spirit by personally selecting and cutting your own fresh Christmas Tree! Top Shape trees are carefully hand shaped and maintained throughout the year to ensure your tree is perfect in every way. For care and advice on getting the best and longest life of your pine tree, Sandy and John have all you need for the continued enjoyment of their trees. With tree wrapping, cold drinks and a friendly chat, come visit us on our farm and see why we have the best trees in Sydney!
  • Willy’s Christmas Tree Farm – Christmas trees- you choose and we cut, Precut Christmas trees,
    281 Windsor Road Vineyard NSW 2765. Phone: 0458 653 555. Email: [email protected] Open: from 9 am to 5:30 pm each day from the last weekend in November right up until Christmas Eve. Their Christmas trees are lovingly trimmed and shaped twice a year so they have a classic, full looking tree form. All real Christmas trees displayed for sale are cut fresh daily to ensure your tree stays lively for weeks.. We are conveniently located within 20 minutes of Parramatta, Rouse Hill Town Centre, M7 and the M2; And only 10 minutes from Windsor!
    UPDATE for 2019, for 2019 we will not be able to allow customers to go out inmto the field to choose their own tree’ HOWEVER, there will be plenty of Pre-Cut Trees available for choosing! The option for choosing from the farm will be available again from 2020 onwards – with big things to come!

Other information about Christmas in Australia:

  • Christmas in Australia and this website as well
  • How one typical Australia family celebrates Christmas
  • Australian Christmas Recipes
  • More Australian Christmas Recipes
  • Native Australian Christmas Plants
  • Australian Lyrics to 12 Days of Christmas
  • Lyrics to Six Whiteboomers
  • Loxton city Christmas Lights.
  • DIY Christmas Lights.
  • Aussie Claus.
  • Santa’s Workshop Light Design

Harvest Calendar in Australia

There’s plenty to pick in Australia!

Australia Pick-your-own calendar

October
November Strawberries
December Raspberries, Strawberries, Loganberries, Boysenberries, Tayberries, Silvanberries, Cherries, Peaches
January Raspberries, Strawberries, Loganberries, Boysenberries, Tayberries, Silvanberries, Black Currents, Cherries, Apricots
February Apples, Raspberries, Strawberries, Apricots, Nectarines, Peaches
March Apples, Raspberries (Fall crop), Strawberries, Nectarines, Peaches
April Apples, Raspberries (Fall crop), Strawberries

May

Apples, Raspberries (Fall crop), Strawberries
June Raspberries (Fall crop)

July

August

September

Top 10 Reasons To Cut Your Own Christmas Tree

How many times have you bundled up the family and ventured out to cut down your very own Christmas tree? For some it’s every year, for others, never. If you’ve ever heard the old saw about how fun it is to choose a live tree, here are 10 more reasons to go out on a limb and try it:

10. Family fun. Going to a Christmas tree farm gets the kids out of the house and into an open field where they can’t get into too much trouble. At least it’s safer than a parking lot populated with absent-minded drivers and open barrel fires.

9. It’s cheaper. Christmas trees typically cost less if you cut them yourself. Remember, if you get a pre-cut tree at a temporary lot, you’re also paying for transportation costs and parking lot rental.

8. You’ll be the hero. An outing to a Christmas tree farm will make you a hero in your family’s eyes. They will love you for the fun it brings, and it will make you feel like a good parent, something you may need a shot of after a year of saying, “No, you can’t.”

7. One stop shop. Most farms also sell fresh wreaths and garland, so you can knock out all decoration errands in one trip.

6. A new experience. The trip to the farm is part of the experience. You can drive through the country at an unhurried pace, pointing out old barns and fields of cows.

5. Gets you in the Christmas Spirit. Just think of the holiday smells — pine, earth, apple cider and gingerbread cookies!

4. Your tree will last longer. Since it was living up to the moment you cut it, and didn’t sit on a truck or warehouse, your tree should last longer. When you get it home, cut off about an inch of the base, making a diagonal cut. Pass around the cut piece for everyone to smell.

3. Support family farms. Cutting your own tree supports these family-owned farms.

2. A bonding experience. A trip to a tree farm takes longer and thus you can spend more time with your family. Enough said.

1. Make memories! Your kids will tuck away this memory in their heads, and tell their kids about it one day.

Here are a few additional tips to help preserve your tree:

  1. Store your tree outside in a sheltered area in a bucket of water (a cold garage is ideal – wind will dry out the tree) until you are ready to trim it. If it is going to be a week or more before you decorate, make a fresh straight cut across the trunk about an inch up from the original cut. This opens the tree stem so it can take up water. Then plunge the trunk end immediately into fresh water. Keep water above the fresh cut or a new cut will be necessary.
  2. If possible, bring the tree into a partially heated area (basement) the night before decorating. This will help it adjust gradually to the warmer temperature.
  3. Locate the tree well away from sources of heat, such as fireplaces, heater vents, space heaters and stoves.
  4. Keep it hydrated – during the first few days after it’s been cut, it’s pretty thirsty, so water it more regularly.

Washington State Christmas Tree Farms 2020

Looking for a local Christmas tree farm, tree lot, sleigh ride, Santa visits, reindeer or hayride in Washington State? Just select your area in the list or map below.

And if you know of one I missed and want to add it or correct the information, or provide feedback about a farm or the website , please let me know!

After Christmas, click here to find how how and where to easily recycle or dispose of your Christmas tree! And to recycle used, broken or old Christmas lights and electronics See this page for local options to easily recycle your Christmas holiday lights. There are affiliate links on this page. Read our disclosure policy to learn more.

February 2020: Most Christmas tree farms open on the Friday right after Thanksgiving (Black Friday, Nov 29, 2019) and are open up to Christmas Eve.Some are only open on weekends, or only have hayrides, Santa visits and events on weekends. A few open Saturday Nov 23rd.

And next Spring, you’ll want to take your children to a free Easter egg hunt – see our companion website to find a local Easter Egg hunt – (www.EasterEggHuntsAndEasterEvents.org) . It’s the ONLY website that is updated every Easter for all Easter Egg hunts in the U.S.

Christmas tree farms, lots and activities

Click one of these areas (or click on the map further down this page)

  • Seattle area, King Kitsap, Snohomish Counties ,
  • Olympia area (Mason, Thurston, Lewis and Pierce Counties)
  • Southwestern Washington State (Cowlitz, Clark, Skamania and Wahkiakum Counties)
  • Northern western Washington – Skagit and Whatcom Counties ,
  • Coastal Washington State
  • North Central Washington (Chelan, Douglas, Grant and Kittitas Counties)
  • South-central Washington State (Yakima, Klickitat and Benton Counties)
  • North-eastern Washington State (Spokane, Lincoln, Stevens, Ferry counties, etc.)
  • Southeastern Washington State

Current weather – click for forecast, or enter a zip code for a different location:

Find the perfect Christmas tree in the Hudson Valley: 27 farms offer fabulous firs

CLOSE CONNECTTWEETLINKEDINEMAILMORE

If a live tree is in your holiday future, it’s good to know there are literally dozens of Hudson Valley Farms with acres of splendid firs ready and waiting. Most offer some extra treats such as hot cocoa and homemade snacks, to visits with Santa, live music and holiday shops.

Westchester County

Wilkens Fruit & Fir Farm: 1335 White Hill Road, Yorktown Heights. Choose-n-Cut Christmas trees starts the Saturday after Thanksgiving this year, Nov. 30. Trees, including Douglas and Fraser firs, are available as long as they last. Pre-cut trees are available. There is also a winery and a farm shop. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 914-245-5111, wilkensfarm.com

Putnam County

Cockburn Farm: 1611 Route 9, Garrison. 845-424-3574. Cutting a tree just got a little more fun: There’s also hot chocolate, snacks and a shop that sells handmade holiday crafts. Santa even stops by on weekends. Check website for his schedule. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. from Black Friday to Christmas Eve. cockburnfarm.com

Dutchess County

Abel’s Trees: 435 N. Clove Road, Verbank, 845-677-6395. Talk about a one-stop shop: Abel’s provides wagon rides, wreaths, tree stands, free hot chocolate, and kettle corn to purchase. Copper Star Alpaca Farm and Small Paws Farm will be bringing alpacas to visit each weekend again this year. Abel’s is open for live trees Black Friday and then all weekends until Christmas. 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. abelstrees.com

Battenfeld’s Christmas Tree Farm: 856 Route 199, Red Hook. 845-758-8018. Families have been coming to Battenfeld’s since 1956 and this year will find Douglas fir, White Pine, Spruce, Balsam fir, Concolor Fir, and Frazier Firs of varying sizes. There are also wagon rides, a Christmas shop, bagpipers and visits with Santa. Open for the season Nov. 29. Hours: Monday-Sunday 8 a.m.-4 p.m. christmastreefarm.us

Big Rock Farms on P&E: 72 Creamery Road, Stanfordville, 845-797-0193. Saturday – Sunday 9 – 5 thru Christmas. The farm offers Blsam Fir, White Pine, and Norway Spruce, and get this, they deliver locally and will set up your tree in your house! Open Friday, Saturday, Sunday, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. from the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas; www.bigrockmarketny.com

Mike Senkier’s Evergreen Forest Christmas Tree Farm: 161 Walsh Road, LaGrangeville. 845-797-2128. Opened Nov. 17 and will be open weekends until Christmas.

PREFER A GARDEN STATE TREE? Check our New Jersey list

Ulster County

Orange County

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