By Sandi Barrett, Contributing Writer
REGION – Tromping through the snow drifts searching the forest for the perfect family Christmas tree evokes memories of a down-home, old-fashioned Christmas. It’s fun to start a new family tradition with or continue a longstanding annual event of selecting and cutting your own tree. After the group tree selection consensus and chopping it down are completed, sip on a steaming mug of hot cocoa or sweet cider to warm your fingers. Sharing a glass of cheer by a roaring fire pit caps off an excellent tree-hunting adventure.
Nowadays, we venture out into the woods of a cut-your-own Christmas tree farm where farmers provide seasonal lumberjacks with a handsaw and will wrap your tree for transport. The trees are trimmed throughout the year and are well filled out and a perfect conical shape―no Charlie Brown Christmas trees here.
Finding the perfect tree is a festive way to kick off the holiday season and involve your entire clan. When you get it home, you can have a deck the halls party and commence decorating your perfect Christmas tree.
Christmas tree cut-your-own farms
Below is a selection of central Massachusetts Christmas tree farms that have announced their 2022 schedules. You can find a comprehensive list of Christmas tree farms and stands at the Massachusetts Christmas Tree Association website at http://www.christmas-trees.org.
The tree farms are listed alphabetically by town for your perusing convenience.
- Cranston’s Christmas Tree Farm, Ashfield
- Luks Tree Farm, Auburn
- Highfields Christmas Tree Farm, Grafton
- Wood’s Tree Farm, Greenfield
- Chestnut Mountain Christmas Tree Farm, Hatfield
- Riverwind Tree Farm, Lancaster
- Squire Farm, East Longmeadow
- Vandervalk Farm & Winery, Mendon
- Ellsworth Tree Farm, Northborough
- Kenburn Orchards, Shelburne
- Harrod Tree Farm, Shirley
- Wolf Hill Farm, Southborough
- Coward Farms, Southwick
- Evergreen Farm, Sterling
- Mistletoe Christmas Tree Farm, Stow
- Taproot Tree Farm, Stow
- Sleighbell Farm, Sutton
- D. J. Hussey Farm, Townsend
- Arrowhead Acres, Uxbridge
Cut your own in the woods
A little farther out of the way, in New Hampshire actually, you can cut your own Christmas tree in the White Mountain National Forest. A small fee is required to obtain a permit from Recreation.gov (recreation.gov/tree-permits/).
Christmas tree merriment must follow the regulations stipulated on their permit page. However, if you are looking for a quintessential tree-cutting adventure, this is the way to go.
Tips for cutting your own Christmas tree
A few quick tips to consider before you embark on your Christmas tree cutting adventure. Most of these tips work for cut-your-own and pre-cut trees.
- Measure the planned tree space, allowing you to select the right size tree.
- Check weather advisories before hitting the road.
- Avoid cutting a tree on private property. Cut trees only in designated areas.
- To help thin out the trees, select a tree in an overcrowded area or cluster.
- Cut the tree close to the ground, leaving about a six-inch stump.
- For roof racking, have a rope and tarp to tie your freshly cut tree to the car.
- Tie your tree securely to make sure it stays on your vehicle all the way home; also allowing for clear lines of sight.
Many tree farms offer pre-tagging options for the holiday decorating aficionados who want to reserve a specific, perfect tree in advance.
When you venture out and cut your own tree, you can enjoy spending time outdoors with your family―that’s the best reason to visit a local Christmas tree farm.