Cutting your own fresh Christmas tree is a wonderful family friendly activity during the holiday. In Maryland, there are many tree farms where you can purchase and cut a live pine, spruce or fir tree. To plan your visit, please call the location first! Some farms close due to bad weather or they may be out of the tree you want. Here are some questions to ask when you call:
• What are the hours?
• What is the farms inclimate weather policy?
• Should I bring a saw?
• What is the policy on tree cutting? Are customers allowed to cut their own Christmas tree or should farm personnel do it?
• What other activities does the farm offer? (Many farms offer hayrides or other opportunities for family fun.)
To prepare for the visit, dress warmly and in layers. Old clothes are the best. Pack a lunch or snack, especially if you are traveling with young children or if the farm is in a remote area. Bring a rope to tie the tree to the roof of your car. An old blanket will protect your paint job.
One concern customers face when they purchase a live farm cut tree is insects. Every year it seems that there is a news story about insects like praying mantis hatching in droves in someone’s Christmas tree. This does not happen often, but dormant insects can warm up and become active once the tree is in the house. If the farm does not have a shaker, make sure to shake the tree well before you bring it into the house. Many pests can be vacuums up easily and they won’t cling to your ornaments when you store them away for the year. For more information, see the article “Post-harvest pests on Christmas trees”.
A website called Pick Your Own Christmas Tree has plenty of listings for Baltimore, Central Maryland and DC, the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Western Maryland. You can also get plenty of information from The Maryland Christmas Tree Association.
Turn your Christmas tree into a shelter for wildlife
Make birdseed ornaments for your winter garden
Using pines as Christmas trees
Adding a potted Christmas tree to your holiday décor
Naturally decorate your yard and garden for Christmas
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