Yeah, you could head to the corner and buy a Christmas tree, but if you’ve got some wheels, why not head to a Christmas tree farm near NYC and cut your own? A day trip to one of these Cut-Your-Own tree farms in New York, Long Island, New Jersey or Connecticut could become your newest family tradition, and you can stock up on all those holiday faves like wreaths and egg nog while you’re at it. With handsaws available to borrow you don’t even need to raid the tool box—all that’s needed is some festive cheer and a bit of collective arm strength.
Wyckoff's Christmas Tree Farm
This family-owned farm nestled in Warren County near the Delaware Water Gap has been in the business since 1958, and in the past, has provided The White House with its official tree. (And yes, this is also where you can get trees in a rainbow of colors, including red, pink, purple, blue and even black!) Having prestigious clients means five star service—there’s a special machine to shake off dead needles before wrapping it, making set up back home a bit tidier. Make a day of it and hang with friends—there’s a special area reserved for tailgate parties allowing people to enjoy ball games in the clearing. For some extra fun there’s a hayride, as well as decor for sale including wreaths, gifts and garlands. Staff provide hand saws although you may bring your own and trees are priced based on size and quality.
Hours: Open Nov. 29 - Dec. 24. Weekends, 8 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.; weekdays 10 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.
249 Country Rd. 519 (Mile marker 39)
Wilkens Fruit and Fir Farm
Wilkens Farm has been growing trees (and fruit like apples and peaches) for more than 100 years, and now they've even branched out to making wine An hour north of the city, the Christmas trees are grown on expansive land that was originally planted with peach trees in the 1970s. The family grows Douglas and Fraser firs and offers a free hot cider with every tree purchase. After your festive centerpiece is squared away, head to one of the farm’s three different markets, the Bakery, Apple Farm Market and Country Market to load up with signature apple cider donuts, jams, jellies, fruit and locally crafted holiday gifts.
Hours: Daily from November 30th, 10 a.m. - 4p.m.
1335 White Hill Rd.
Yorktown Heights, NY
Barclays Tree Farm
This family-owned and operated farm in Middlesex County promises one of the most affordable Choose-and-Cut tree options in the area. Trees are $60 for heights up to 12 feet and $120 for varieties over 12 feet. Great service is their top priority and staff are on hand to help pick the right tree, providing saws, squaring off and shaping branches as well as netting and securing the tree to your car. The Douglas and Fraser firs are the farm’s bestsellers. Also on offer are the Blue Spruce which has a dusty blue look, the distinctive White Firs which have a fragrant lemon-pine scent and the classic Norway Spruce. Dogs need to be leashed but are welcome to join the fun.
Hours: Open weekends, Nov. 29- Dec. 25., 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
35 Orchardside Dr.
Tilden Lane Farm
Step back in time with a trip to Tilden Lane Farm tracing its history to the earliest East Coast settlers. The farm offers three types of spruce trees, good for holding the weight of lights and decorations. The firs have the piney scent and are a little longer lasting than the spruce. The farm is easily walkable and manageable with strollers and small wagons. The cost of the trees varies depending on the height but is generally in the $70-80 range. Hand saws are available or you can bring your own and staff can help with tree wrapping and securing to your vehicle. They’ll also help out with family photos around your chosen centerpiece and there’s a discount on homemade wreaths if you buy a tree. Cash and checks only, no credit cards.
Hours: 9 a. m. - 3 p. m.. Open three weekends only November 30/December 1; December 7 & 8, and December 14 & 15.
48 Wyckoff St.
Elmwood Christmas Tree Farm
This small home-run lot has more than 4000 trees and is one of Long Island’s most westerly Christmas Tree farms. Bring your own saw and you can take home one of their many tree varieties including firs, pines and spruces. (They also sell pre-cut trees.) Set on a picturesque spot on a slight hill, the farm is low frills but gets super busy. Trees are reasonably-priced based on the height and species you select. Most trees are in the 6 - 8 ft range. Staff recommend arriving early on the weekend to cut wait times. The farm also offers living Christmas trees to plant out in the new year. Cash and check only, no credit cards.
Hours: Weekdays 3 p. m. til dark; weekends 10 a. m. til dark. Pre-cut lot open until 7 p.m. daily.
1500 East Jericho Turnpike
Shamrock Christmas Tree Farm
What's more fun than cutting down your own tree? How about slurping down oysters and enjoying a wine tasting while you're at it? Shamrock Christmas Tree Farm offers fun for both kids and adults; little lumberjacks can visit with Santa, hop on a holiday train ride and drop a letter to Santa in a hot red mailbox. The farm also provides plenty of photo ops such as the Peanuts crew rendered in plywood at the "Charlie Brown Christmas Tree" stand and festive old timey sleighs. (Our advice: cut down your tree before the wine tasting.) If you're not up for cutting down your tree, you can buy one already pre-cut, as well as wreaths, kissing balls, and more.
Hours: Open seven days a week, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Nov. 29 - Dec. 24
20685 Main Rd.
Carter Christmas Tree Farm
This farm in the heart of Miller Place Historical District on Long Island has trees ranging from 3ft to 9ft tall and offers Douglas Fir, Scotch Pine, White Spruce, as well as the iconic Norway Spruce. Handsaws can be borrowed and they'll wrap the tree for easy transport. They do ask customers to bring sturdy rope to fasten the tree to your vehicle. The trees can be pre-tagged starting November 19 and must be paid for by cash or check.
Hours: Weekends only, 9 a. m. to 4.30 p. m. from November 19th to December 18th
123 North Country Rd.
Miller Place, NY
Jones Family Farms
This 200 acre farm in Fairfield County offers a variety of height and species including towering firs, pines and spruces. Trees are sustainably grown and pruned every year during the eight-to-10-year period it takes to grow to full size, and every buyer of a cut-your-own tree gets a free commemorative Woodbury pewter ornament. The farm’s Barnyard Shop sells holiday treats and decor including wreaths, handmade crafts and tree stands. They also serve hot mulled cider and home made cookies at the Harvest Kitchen Christmas Canteen. Staff are happy to see dogs in the Christmas tree fields but bring a leash. Payment is by cash or check only; expect to pay about $80 for a tree. P.S. Jones Family Farm has a great cut-your-own tree outing checklist here!
Hours: Daily, 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
555 Walnut Tree Rd.
feature photo: Unsplash