Tips on Selecting a Real Tree at a Choose Your Own Farm
Christmas trees purchased from local Christmas tree farms are as fresh as a Christmas tree can ever be.
EVALUATE YOUR NEEDS BEFORE DEPARTING FOR THE FARM
Measure the ceiling height in the room where the tree will be displayed. The trees in the field look small when the sky is the ceiling. Don't overbuy. Measure the width of the area of the room where the tree will be displayed. Most trees on tree farms are trimmed to an 80% taper. So a tree that's 10' tall will be 8' wide at the bottom. A tree that will fit in the room vertically may be entirely too big horizontally. What decorating theme will be used? Some species have more open foliage, stiffer branches or longer needles. Research the characteristics of the different species on the NCTA website, www.realchristmastrees.org or check out our "Tree Varieties" tab.
WHAT YOU SHOULD EXPECT WHEN YOU ARRIVE AT THE FARM
Most tree farms keep their fields very well groomed, but there are some things that are beyond the farmer's control. Be careful of fire-ant mounds, tree stumps, an occasional blackberry vine, uneven ground and sharp saws. Go to the farm prepared for a day in the country. Wear comfortable shoes and old clothes. Bring rain gear if the weather is threatening. The "cutter downers" and the "loader uppers" should also have gloves. DON'T FORGET THE CAMERA. Saws are often provided by the farm operator (and are provided by Woody Acres).
Some farms measure and price their trees individually, others sell them by the foot. Ask about the pricing policy before heading out in the field. Head out to the field and select the tree that fits your predetermined needs. Check the trunk to be sure that it is sufficiently straight. Keep in mind that pines will usually have, at least, some crook in their trunks. Also check that the tree has a sufficiently long handle to accommodate your stand. In the fall of the year ALL conifers drop, or shed, a certain portion of their oldest needles. This is a normal part of the life cycle of the tree. This phenomena occurs because the tree is preparing itself for winter. Most farms provide shaking, or blowing, services so that you will depart with a perfectly clean tree. (This is offered by Woody Acres.)
Cutting the tree is easiest as a two person project. The "cutter downer" usually lies on the ground. While the helper holds the bottom limbs up. While the cut is being made, the helper should tug on the tree lightly to ensure that the saw kerf remains open and the saw does not bind. The tugging force should be applied to the side of the tree opposite the cut. In the case of the Leylands, the cut is best made by an attendant at the farm using a chain saw. A back cut should be made first with the final cut coming from the opposite side. Bring the tree to the processing area where it will be cleaned and netted. Netting makes transporting and handling the tree substantially easier. (Woody Acres also offers bailing/netting of your Christmas Tree.)
Now you're ready to load up and head home to decorate your Real Christmas Tree!
More Tips on Selecting a Christmas Tree
1530 Harris Road, Penfield, NY 14526 / 585-872-2759
Conveniently located 20 min East of Rochester, NY - Easy access from I590, Exit 7 and NY-104E, Exit NY-250 towards Webster.