Okay, there might not be a lot of snow right now in the Bay Area (Seattle is another story), but post-Thanksgiving marks the time to bundle up, grab some bungee cords and head out to find your perfect Christmas tree. Here are some places to chop a dandy.
WallinFarm 840 Ferguson Road, Sebastopol, (707) 823-6973
Opening on Black Friday, avoid the city chaos and head to this cozy, 6-acre mom-and-pop farm in rural Sebastopol. It's a peaceful setting, perfect for spotting a picturesque Douglas fir for your living room. And you won't have to sacrifice a few Christmas presents to be able to afford one of their trees. For a tree about 9 feet tall, you won't have to pay more than $70. Their last day of chopping is on the 22nd of December.
In the woodsy hills of Castro Valley lies this family farm started by a UC Berkeley forestry professor in the 1960s. They offer all kinds (over 12,000!) of freshly-cut trees (and only use rain water to feed them), from Douglas firs, Monterey pines, Sierra Redwoods, and pre-cut, super fresh Noble firs straight from Oregon. Prices are flat rate, and you can even score a coupon for $5 on their website! They open the day after Thanksgiving, and are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Rancho Siempre Verde Christmas Tree Farm, 2250 Cabrillo Highway, Pescadero, (650) 852-3299
On the California coast sits this gorgeous tree farm, where a seasoned family of farmers curates 20 acres of Douglas Firs, Monterey Pines, Sequoias, Incense Cedars, Arizona Cypresses, Swift Silvers plus a small number of Noble and Frazer firs. This is a cool place to bring your kids for some decidedly un-cheesy holiday fun sans plastic santas or long lines. Instead, they have wreath-making, a huge fire for marshmallow-roasting, gigantic xylophones, and a bevvy of swings in all sizes and shapes hidden amongst trees and on top of the highest hill on the farm. Every tree is $55, so pick one for the most bang for your buck! Open every weekend from November 27th through midday on December 23rd.
If you're looking for larger trees, Lone Star has Douglas firs up to 18 feet, and White firs and Scotch pines up to 9 feet (their other locale, Skyline Ranch Tree Farm, which also sells organic heirloom chestnuts, has some Sequoias up to 30 feet!). Find normal, apartment-sized trees for the chopping as well, and rest easy knowing that they'll all grown organically. The family who runs Lone Star just added a bunch of picnic tables for people to tailgate all day with their families and friends. Opening the day after Thanksgiving, you can also find fresh-made wreaths and local honey.
Garlock Tree Farm, 2275 Bloomfield Road, Sebastopol (707) 823-4307
After you're done riding around the farm on a horse-drawn carriage, sip some free hot coffee and munch on candy canes while choosing your tree. They've pretty much got something to please everyone at Garlock, from Douglas and White firs and Scotch and Monterey pines ready to be cut, as well as fresh-cut Noble firs that are kept in water. If you're more the tiny-tree type, get a potted Blue Spruce or weeping Norway Spruce. If you want a gigantic specimen, they have over 100 trees that are upwards of 10 feet. They also sell mistletoe, wreaths and Christmas garlands. The Garlock family works this farm from the day after Thanksgiving until December 19. Grab a coupon for your tree here.
Where do you go to cut a Christmas tree for your home? Tell us in the comments!