The holidays are all about tradition—baking cookies, singing carols, hanging lights. And for many, a favorite tradition is searching for and chopping down a Christmas tree. “People want to have some time as a family and go out and do all the fun things there are to do on a farm,” says Rick Dungey of the National Christmas Tree Association. In addition to forests full of trees, most farms also offer other attractions like sleigh rides, petting zoos, and gift shops.
Here’s a guide to tree farms within driving distance of Washington. Before hopping in the car, it’s smart to measure the spot where you plan to showcase the tree—when you’re out in the open trees look smaller than they do inside. Also, be sure to dress warmly, pack a thermos of hot chocolate, and wear sturdy shoes.
When you return home, place the tree in water as soon as possible and use low-heat miniature lights to prevent it from drying out. For more tips on how to care for your farm-grown tree, check out the Maryland Christmas Tree Association’s Web site. After the season is over, visit realchristmastrees.org to find a tree recycling program close to home.
Butler’s Orchard, 22222 Davis Mill Road, Germantown
Douglas firs and white pines. Assistance and saws are available, and a country Christmas store sells wreaths, ornaments, and more. Open Tuesday through Sunday 10 to 5:30 through December 23; 10 to 4 on December 24. 301-972-3299. butlersorchard.com.
Friendship Trees, 6950 Route 778, Friendship
White pines, Douglas firs, Fraser firs, and Norway spruce. Open Monday through Friday noon to 4:30; Saturday and Sunday 9 to 4:30. 301-855-5756.
Homestead Farm, 15600 Sugarland Road, Poolesville
Scotch pines. A holiday farm stand sells fall squash, apples, jam, and more. Hand saws are available; power saws are not permitted. Open Saturday and Sunday 9 to 5 from December 5 through 21. 301-977-3761. homestead-farm.net.
King Farm, 24601 Stringtown Road, Clarksburg
Fraser firs, white spruce, and white pine. Also pre-cut Douglas and Fraser firs. Open Saturday and Sunday 10 to 5 through December 21. 301-253-4521.
Naughty Pine Plantation, 18200 Elmer School Road, Dickerson
Douglas firs. Most trees at Naughty Pine are seven feet or taller. Be sure to bring strong friends, as the farm does not remove trees from remote areas. Open Saturday and Sunday 10 to dusk through December 21. 703-336-3669. naughty-pine.com.
Pine Valley Farm, 1150 Fannie Dorsey Road, Sykesville
Fraser firs, Douglas firs, Canaan firs, Concolor firs, blue spruce, and white pine. Hand saws, machine tree cleaning, and baling are available. On weekends enjoy hot chocolate, cider, and crafts. Open daily from 9 to 5. 410-795-8314. pinevalleyfarms.com.
Rocky Top Tree Farm, 26010 Long Corner Road, Gaithersburg
Canaan firs and Douglas firs. Sawing, cutting, shaking, and wrapping services are available. Open Tuesday through Sunday 9 to 4:30 through December 24. 301-253-4750.
R&K Trees, 20701 Slidell Road, Boyds
Douglas firs, Canaan firs, blue spruce, and homemade wreaths. Saws are available. Open Monday through Friday 3 to 5 and Saturday and Sunday 9 to 4 from December 6 to 20. 301-972-9355.
Seppi Evergreens, 7409 Queen Anne Bridge Road, Bowie
Norway spruce, Douglas firs, and Fraser firs. Open daily from 9 until dark through December 25. 301-249-7412
Stockstill Trees, 4102 Old Crain Highway, Upper Marlboro
Douglas firs, blue spruce, and white pines. Open Saturday and Sunday 8:30 to 4:30. 301-627-3768.
Tanner’s Enchanted Forest, 14300 Baden Westwood Road, Brandywine
White pines, Scotch pines, red pines, Douglas firs, Fraser firs, Colorado spruce, Serbian spruce, and Norway spruce. Also wreaths, garlands, and potted trees. Sawing and cutting services are available. Open Saturday and Sunday 7 to 5 through December 24. 301-579-2238. tannerstrees.com.
Ashcroft Farm, 751 Kitchen Lane, White Post
White pines, Scotch pines, Norway spruce, Douglas firs, Concolor firs, Colorado blue spruce, and white spruce. Open Friday through Sunday 10 to 4:30 through December 24, and by appointment. 540-837-1240.
Cedar Forest Inc., 6501 Little River Turnpike, Alexandria
Balsam firs, Colorado blue spruce, Concolor firs, Douglas firs, Fraser firs, Scotch pines, and white pines. Sawing, shaking, cutting and wrapping services are available. Open daily 10 to 10 through December 24. 703-866-9494.
Clifton Christmas Tree Plantation, 12360 Henderson Road, Clifton
Fraser firs, Scotch pines, and white pines. Also a shop with handmade wreathes, mistletoe, ribbons, and bows. Hand saws and twine are available. Open daily 10 to 4 through December 24.
Day Star Farm, 41374 Reservoir Road, Leesburg
White pines, Scotch pines, Norway spruce, white spruce, and blue spruce. Open Saturday from 9 to 5 and Sunday 1 to 5 through December 14, and by appointment. 703-327-6269; daystarfarm.org
Jacobson Farm, 42518 Saint Clair Lane, Leesburg
Douglas firs, Canaan firs, Scotch pines, white pines, Norway spruce, white spruce, and Colorado blue spruce. Hand saws and twine are available. Also cider, hot chocolate, coffee, and cookies on sale. Open Friday through Sunday 9 to 4. 703-777-9534.
Joe’s Trees, 5110 Cumberland Gap Road, Newport
Canann firs and white pines. Also nature hikes and horse-drawn wagon tours of the farm. Open Monday through Sunday 9 until dusk and Sunday 10 until dusk through December 20. 540-544-7303. joestrees.com
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