Going to a local tree farm to find and cut your own Christmas tree is one way to make your holiday season truly special this year with an experience that becomes a unique, memorable tradition to share with your family and friends. For those of you who make the decision to get your tree from the earth instead of a department store, here are a few Christmas tree cutting tips.
1. Find a Christmas Tree Farm – Consult your area’s local listings for tree farms that offer cut-your-own holiday trees. Choosing a nearby farm is a great way to support local business and contribute to the health of your community’s economy. At Eckert’s, we operate our farm based on respect for the land and environment, incorporating a tradition of excellence established since the beginning of our family business, over 175 years ago.
Tree farms with a festive atmosphere geared toward the holidays are the most fun for everyone, and at Eckert’s, we offer other delightful holiday activities to celebrate the season alongside our Christmas tree cutting experience.
2. When to Cut – Although most Christmas tree lots open around the weekend following Thanksgiving, you might want to wait a couple more weeks, so that your tree is still fresh at Christmas. Evergreens hold their needles, if watered properly, for three to four weeks after being cut. Eckert’s Belleville farm will be opening November 21st this season to allow you and your family plenty of time to find the perfect tree.
3. Dress for Success – Christmas trees are heavy, prickly and loaded with extra “gifts” from nature like insects, sap and natural debris. Wear gloves and boots, and avoid loose clothing that can catch on boughs easily.
4. The Right Tools – When heading out to get your tree, make sure you have the measurements of the space in your home where you’ve decided to place the tree. Remember that when measuring the height of your space, you must account for the stand and tree topper you plan to use.
Bring measuring tools to the tree farm, along with twine, bungees, shears and an old blanket or tarp to protect your vehicle while transporting your tree home. Eckert’s conveniently supply saws and sleighs to customers, so you don’t have to worry about bringing your own!
5. Cutting Basics – Once you’ve selected your tree, prepare to make the cut close to the ground. This makes it easier for the tree to sprout a central leader for a new tree, which will take approximately eight to nine years to reach maturity.
To cut a tree with a bow saw, firstly place the saw at the tree’s base with the blade facing away from you. Cut using a vigorous back-and-forth motion until you’ve made it all the way through the trunk. It is also helpful to have another person hold the upper portion of the tree steady while you cut. When you’ve cut nearly the entire trunk, clear the area so no one gets hurt by being in the path of the falling tree.
6. Transporting Your Tree – Once your tree is on the ground, you’ll want to stand it back up and bounce it firmly on the ground a couple times, to shake out any dirt, expired needles, old birds’ nests, bugs or other debris that may be lurking in its interior.
Next, wrap it in netting, which makes it much easier to haul and load your tree onto or into your vehicle. If you’re transporting the tree on the roof of your car, position the base end near the front and the tip towards the back. Even if you have a roof rack, use your tie-downs to secure the tree by looping the straps through the frame of the car.
Now that you and your family are prepared to cut your own tree, visit us at Eckert’s Farm in Belleville to get the adventure started!
951 S. GREEN MOUNT ROAD
BELLEVILLE, IL 62220
Belleville Farm. 9am – 5pm daily, starting November 21 and running through December 23.