When it comes to Christmas trees, there are people who favor fake trees, real tree purists and those who prefer really real trees, as in as-fresh-as-it-gets, chopped down from the Christmas tree farm real.
The question of where to cut your own Christmas tree is an easy one to answer. There are Christmas tree farms throughout the Northeast, where conifers of various varieties, shapes and sizes are planted and nurtured, destined to become the glittery holiday centerpiece of someone’s home.
If not every year (although it is prime tradition-making material), you should try it at least once for the adventure if you can.
What are the benefits of cutting down your own tree? For one, they are fresher; the branches are a bit springier, their fragrance brighter and they’ll generally last longer. And of course, there are the bragging rights that come with playing lumberjack and cutting and hauling out your chosen evergreen with your own two hands. It also feels more Christmassy than the Home Depot parking lot.
If any of the above sounds good, take a look at our selection of 10 Christmas tree farms near NYC and Boston to find one closest to you. Most open right after Thanksgiving. So what are you waiting for? Christmas is just around the corner – it’s time to get that tree up, deck the halls and fa la la (whatever that means).
Before Heading to the Christmas Tree Farm…
- Get out the tape measure. Measure the spot that you would like to put your tree and the height of the ceiling to know how tall or wide of a tree your house can accommodate.
- Consider which type of tree is best for you. If you would like your house to be filled with the Christmassy scent of pine, try a Douglas fir. If you have a lot of heavy ornaments, pick a tree with sturdier branches like a Colorado blue spruce and avoid varieties like the white pine, which has very soft needles. If you want branches with good fragrance that are just as great at ornament holding, you can’t go wrong with a balsam or Fraser fir.
- Call the farm ahead of time. Make sure the farm still has plenty of cut-your-own trees available, especially if you go toward the end of the season. You can also call ahead to make sure if the farm is pet-friendly or if saws are provided. Most Christmas tree farms allow you to bring your own hand saw. Power tools are not typically permitted for safety reasons.
Christmas Tree Farms
Check websites for seasonal schedules and hours and call for closings due to inclement weather.
Evergreen Valley Christmas Tree Farm
77 Jackson Valley Road, Washington, N.J., 908-835-0557
About 1.75 hours from NYC
Wander rows of over 10,000 trees surrounded by mountain views at this 145-acre Christmas tree farm in Warren County, just a short drive from both New York and Pennsylvania. Bring your own saw or borrow one from the farm. Staff is also on hand to cut your tree for you if you would like. Leashed dogs are welcome so bring along your best friend. Trees are priced differently according to variety; the farm has eight different kinds to choose from.
Wycoff’s Christmas Tree Farm
249 County Road 519, Belvidere, N.J., 908-475-4508
About two hours from NYC
Wyckoff’s has been in business for over 60 years and is the official Christmas tree supplier to the White House. There are over 5,000 cut-your-own trees waiting to be selected at the farm, as well as fresh pre-cut trees, wreaths, pine roping and blankets available for purchase. Hand saws are provided, along with extra services such as putting your tree on a “tree shaker” to rid the tree of stray needles, wrapping it for better transport and drilling a hole at the base for pin stands. Country gift shop and hayrides on the weekends (weather permitting). Cut-your-own trees are $10 per foot, including tax. The farm’s “painted” trees in fantastical colors are an extra $4 per foot.
Elwood Christmas Tree Farm
1500 East Jericho Turnpike, Huntington, N.Y., 631-368-8628
About two hours from NYC
For a quiet tree cutting experience, head to this 20-acre Long Island farm. Bring your own saw or they will cut your chosen tree for you. The staff will also tie your tree to your car without extra charge. Cost varies depending on tree size.
Battenfeld’s Christmas Tree Farm
856 NY-199, Red Hook, N.Y., 845-758-8018
Two hours from NYC
Enjoy an old-fashioned Christmas in the country at Battenfeld’s family farm. Choose and cut your own Christmas tree from six different varieties. A one-stop shop for all of your holiday decorating, the farm also has an assortment of individually handmade wreaths ornamented with all-natural embellishments and a Christmas shop for gifts. Saws are provided and leashed dogs are welcome. Handsaws are available for a $10 returnable deposit upon exiting. All trees are $75 with tax included.
Maple Row Farm
229 Stepney Road, Easton, Conn., 203-261-9577
Maple Row Farm has been in business since 1769 but that doesn’t mean they don’t keep up with the times. The farm’s app will help you navigate the grounds and find the perfect tree for your family from the wide assortment available. Pet the oxen, enjoy a hayride and relax while browsing for wreaths and other holiday accessories. Bonuses: Dog-friendly, tailgating is permitted and saws are provided. Prices are set for all cut-your-own trees: $73 on weekdays /$79 on weekends.
Greenwood Tree Farm
96 Dudley Road, Billerica, Mass., 978-667-5380
About 40 minutes from Boston
Selling mostly Fraser and balsam fir, this small family Christmas tree farm is a charming little operation for the holidays. While the staff helps to load your tree onto your car, warm up in the barn with local apple cider and samples of honey from their honey bee farm. Before you leave, browse the Christmas gift shop or visit the decoration station at the farm stand to get a wreath or kissing ball customized to your liking. Cut-your-own trees are all $65 plus tax (cash and checks only).
Vandervalk Farm & Winery
25 Lovell St., Mendon, Mass., 508-478-8733
One hour from Boston
Balsam and Fraser fir trees are available for cutting on a first-come, first-served (no tagging or reserving in advance), along with plenty of pre-cut fresh trees. Free services include tree shaking, wrapping, twine, apple cider, snacks and cute picture spots. Warm up by the fire in the Christmas barn, which also sells holiday goods and decorations. And afterwards, don’t miss your opportunity to stop in for a tasting of Vandervalk’s blueberry and fruit wines, handcrafted in small batches from the farm’s own blueberries. All cut-your-own trees are $75 (cash and checks only).
Noel’s Tree Farm
21 Charles Bancroft Highway, Litchfield, N.H., 603-759-2264
One hour from Boston
Whether you cut your own or buy pre-cut, the family that own Noel’s tree farm puts in a lot of love, tending to their trees throughout the year to make sure that you have a perfect-looking selection to pick from come Christmastime. Other decorations like wreaths and roping are also available in many shapes and sizes. Bow saws are supplied and leashed dogs are welcome. Trees are priced by the foot. 10 percent senior and military discount on Wednesdays.
Big John Leyden’s Christmas Tree Farm
179 Plain Meeting House Road, West Greenwich, R.I., 401-397-4360
1.5 hours from Boston
Selection is not a problem at Big John’s. The farm grows over 100,000 trees and 10 different varieties including balsam fir, Fraser fir, blue spruce and white pine. And they allow you to tag trees in advance, meaning that you can make an outing out of choosing your Christmas tree earlier in the season and come back and cut it down whenever you’re ready to put it up. The staff will cut your tree, wrap it and put it on your car. While you’re there, take a family photo in front of the 20-foot tall Santa in the field. Leashed dogs are welcome. Trees prices range by size and variety.
The Rocks Estate
4 Christmas Lane, Bethlehem, N.H., 608-444-6228
About 2 1/2 hours from Boston
As the North Country Conservation and Education Center for the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, the Rocks Estate has been growing Christmas trees for over 35 years and is known as an ideal holiday destination, complete with caroling, horse-drawn wagon rides and marshmallows roasted on an open fire. Visitors can wander through the historic property and search row upon row to find and cut down their ideal evergreen. Free tree wrapping and car loading is provided. Prices for trees rang depending on size and variety.
Tips for Christmas Tree Care
- Don’t feel guilty about cutting down a tree. Christmas tree farms are planted specifically to meet the demands of the holiday season. Plus, real Christmas trees are biodegradable and recyclable. Artificial trees are made of plastic and live in landfills indefinitely when they are disposed of.
- Keep your Christmas tree hydrated. Fill the tree stand with water and check daily to make sure it stays filled up to the base of the tree. A tree stand should hold at least 1 gallon of water – that’s the amount the average 6-foot tree can consume per day!
- Keep your tree away from heart sources like fireplaces, heaters and direct sunlight. Not only is it safer, it will slow the drying process.
Do you cut down your own Christmas tree? Tell us your favorite Christmas tree farms in the comments!