Contributed by Marlee Moore
As the calendar flips closer to Dec. 25, Christmas tree farms are providing fresh-cut evergreens and festive holiday experiences for families across Alabama.
“From the Gulf Coast to the Tennessee Valley, Alabama farmers grow, trim and prepare trees of all shapes and sizes,” said Hunter McBrayer, the Alabama Farmers Federation Greenhouse, Nursery & Sod Division director. “Growing a tree is a years-long endeavor. When a family visits a farm to pick out their perfect tree, they’re taking home a labor of love.”
Most Christmas tree farms open the Friday following Thanksgiving and close Christmas Eve.
These farms don’t just offer trees; it’s about the experience, McBrayer said. From hot chocolate to train rides and wreath-making stations to visits from Santa, festivities encourage families to make the season merry and bright.
Tree Choice And Care
When it’s time to pick the perfect tree, McBrayer offers these tips:
• Measure first.
– Measure height and width of the space where you plan to display the tree. Account for extra height from the tree stand and topper.
• Choose a tree with an appealing shape that fits your space.
• Look for space between branches.
– For ornaments to hang straight, you’ll want a tree with some space between the branches.
• If buying a fresh-cut or harvested tree, look for dark-green needles and flexible branches.
– Needles should be flexible, adhere to the branch and not fall off in your hand.
• Make a fresh one-inch cut in the tree trunk before mounting on the stand.
• Get the tree into water as soon as possible.
– Heat in a home can dry a tree out, but freshly cut trees that are well-hydrated and kept out of harsh sunlight or drafts can last up to a month.
• Check the water level daily.
– For the first few days, check the level every couple of hours. After about a week, water intake will slow down, and daily refills should be fine.
• When Christmas is over, don’t trash the tree!
– Turn it into mulch, repurpose it as an animal habitat or replant living Christmas trees.
Alabama Christmas Tree Farms
Searching for a Christmas tree farm near you? Check out this list, compiled by the Alabama Farmers Federation!
• Parker Acres Farm – Bay Minette
• Moody Farms – Oneonta
• Heart of Dixie Farm – Henager
• Gilbert christmas Tree Farm – Lanett
• Old Dairy Christmas Tree Farm – Gadsden
• Pine Hills Farms – Birmingham
• Shell’s Chrismas Tree Farm – Tuscumbia
• Sokoll’s Christmas Tree Farm – Florence
• Wadsworth Christmas Tree Farm – Wetumpka
• Wilderwood Farms – Ralph
• Clear Creek Christmas Tree Farm – Jasper
• Risner Christmas Tree Farm – Citronelle
• Springfield Christmas Tree Farm – Boaz
• Back To Christmas Tree Farm – Madison
• Trim-A-Tree Farm – Athens
• Home Town Christmas Tree Farm – Sulligent
• Fish River Trees – Summerdale
• Neely Farms – Thorsby
• Beavers Christmas Tree Farm – Trafford
• Frazier Chrismas Tree Farm – Albertville