With snow frosting the mountain peaks and a brisk chill in the air, we know the holidays are right around the corner. Many New Hampshire Christmas tree farms are open for mail order business, and choose-and-cut Christmas tree season arrives soon!
New Hampshire Christmas tree farms also offer festive events and entertainment throughout the season – from caroling and horse-drawn wagon rides to cocoa and holiday shops. Be sure to check the website of your favorite farm or call ahead for details. Check out the interactive Find-a-Farm map on our website.
As we look to the holidays and decking the halls, here are a few tips for choosing a perfect, farm fresh Christmas tree:
Before you cut, measure your space. This is important whether you’ll be selecting a tree from a retail lot or cutting your own from a farm. Measure the ceiling height of the room in which you’ll trim your tree AND the width of the space as well. Once you’re in the field – or on the lot – it will be difficult to judge tree size, since you’ll be in a much more open area.
Consider what type of Christmas tree you’d like. Before you visit your favorite Christmas tree farm, think about what type of tree you’d like. Some species are known for a stronger fragrance, others for staying fresh longer. Balsam, Fraser, and Canaan firs are the most commonly grown Christmas trees in New Hampshire, but some farms offer other varieties as well. Check the National Christmas Tree Association’s descriptions of tree varieties for more information.
Test for freshness. If you are selecting a tree from a retail lot at your Christmas tree farm, run a branch of the tree through your enclosed hand. The needles should NOT come off easily. The outer branches should be pliable – not brittle – when you bend them. However, it IS normal for all conifers to shed their oldest needles in the fall. Most farms will provide a shaking service so the needles that are ready to drop do so before you get your tree home and in the stand.
Be prepared for a day outdoors. New Hampshire sees a variety of weather through the late fall weeks, from t-shirt temps to snow squalls. Keep in mind that you’ll be outdoors – whether at a retail lot or in the field cutting your own tree – and dress appropriately. You may also like to bring your camera to document the tree hunting!
Partner up to cut. Cutting a Christmas tree is easiest with two people – one to get down on the ground and do the sawing, and one to hold the tree and move the lower branches out of the way. The person holding the tree should tug upward lightly while the tree is being cut so the saw does not bind.