If you’ve visited any retail outlet lately, there is no mistaking it, Christmas is near. At Abbey Farms, it is no secret that this is our favorite time of the year. We’ve spent years growing the evergreens in our fields. So, when you and your family visit us to purchase an Abbey Farms Christmas tree, we delight in a successful outcome. Although every family’s definition of a “perfect” Christmas tree differs, we do have some tips to enhance your overall Abbey Farms experience.
Before You Arrive
Every year we hear stories of tree purchases gone awry. Whether you are a seasoned fresh Christmas tree shopper, or a first-timer, mistakes can happen. Most of them generally relate to size or care after you bring the tree home.
- The most important thing you can do before you come is to measure the area where you wish to place the tree. Not only the height of the ceiling, but also the width of the area you have available. One more measurement to take is that of all doorways the tree must be carried through. Though it is unlikely to be a problem if you have your tree netted, it never hurts to be certain.
- Bring the tape measure with you, too, especially if you are planning to cut down a tree in the u-cut fields. The trees often look smaller than they really are when you see them in the wide-open field. If you’re purchasing from the precut lot, all trees will be marked with the height and species of tree.
- While you’re packing the car, grab some rope, twine, bungee cords or whatever if you will be tying the tree to the top of your car. We do have some twine available. You can bring your own saw, but we do have saws for your use with a $10 refundable deposit.
- We realize that your dog is a valued member of the family, so bring them along! However, we require them to be on leashes, and please clean up after your pet.
Dress for Field Conditions
We can’t stress this enough. We want you to make memories when you visit the tree farm. However, we’d rather that you and the family remember what a great time you had – not that you were cold, ruined your shoes or got a vehicle stuck in the mud. If you’re headed to the field, pay attention to these tips:
- Dress for the weather and possible adverse field conditions. When trekking through the tree fields, keep in mind that depending on previous weather, the fields could be snowy, wet and/or muddy. Wear comfortable shoes or boots, preferably ones you can clean easily or don’t care if they get muddy. Ladies, wear the cute boots with heels another time, they aren’t practical for walking in a field.
- Be prepared to walk a fair amount if you are cutting your own tree. Our tree fields cover nearly 120 acres, and vehicles are not allowed to drive through the trees. However, there is ample parking at each of the fields. As the season goes on, the trees closest to parking get picked over, so a hike is likely. Fresh air and exercise – not such a bad thing!
- Bring a flashlight if you are headed to the field in the early evening. There are no lights in the fields. The precut lot is lit, however. Also, although our closing time is 7 p.m., no one is admitted to the tree fields after 6 p.m. So, plan your trip accordingly.
Choosing the Tree
Between our U-cut fields and precut lot, there is a nice mix of firs, pines and spruces available for purchase. In the fields, look for Austrian, Scotch and White pines. Most of these will cost $45 per tree. Norway spruces can also be found in the U-cut fields but are considered a premium tree and cost $60. We have maps available if you stop by the Nagel Emporium first, which will help you with your search.
For those of you looking to purchase a fir, such as the Fraser or a Canaan, we will bring those in. Firs do not grow well in our clay soils, so our family connection in Michigan delivers a freshly cut supply each week. If you’d like to learn some characteristics of each type of tree, visit the Abbey Farms Christmas tree varieties web page.
After you choose your tree, whether it is in the field or in the precut lot, our friendly staff and volunteers are ready to help you. We have complimentary tree shaking and netting available at the Emporium. Additionally, you’ll want to stop in to shop and grab a cup of hot chocolate and an apple cider doughnut for everyone in your group. It’s on us! Our seasonal store is filled with gifts for everyone, freshly baked pies and donuts. During the weekends, the Pine Tree Café serves delicious made-from-scratch meals, too.
Caring for Your Abbey Farms Christmas Tree
- Make a fresh cut to the trunk. If you cut your own, it won’t be necessary if you get it in water within six to eight hours – the sooner the better. If you purchase a precut tree, we can take off a half-inch or so to give your tree a fresh cut.
- As soon as you get your tree home, place it in a bucket of water or water-filled tree stand. If you aren’t decorating immediately, try to keep your tree in the garage or other cool area. This will keep it from drying out as quickly.
- Get a tree stand that is large enough to hold ample water.
- Water the tree daily – or even twice daily if necessary. Make certain the fresh-cut edge always reaches the water. Most trees will be heavy drinkers within the first week or two weeks.
- Avoid placing your tree near a vent or radiator if possible. While the temperature of the water doesn’t matter, the temperature of the air does. Heat will cause your tree to dry out prematurely.
- Additives are unnecessary but we do have a tree preserver available for purchase if you like. Your tree will be happy if you provide plenty of fresh water!
We hope this helps you on your quest to find and care for a fresh Abbey Farms Christmas tree. Should you have questions, email us via firstname.lastname@example.org. You can read more about Christmas season at Abbey Farms here. Mark your calendars, too, as Santa has scheduled multiple visits to Abbey Farms to listen to children’s wish lists. Visit the Santa on the Farm web page to consult his schedule and gather more information.