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 is a great outdoor activity for the family. Read on for our picks for the best tree farms, and how Covid safety measures have changed things a bit for the 2020 season.
Know Before You Go
Like most things in 2020, cutting your own Christmas tree at a tree farm will be a bit different this year, but not by much. A few things to know:
Some farms are requiring reservations, a la, apple and pumpkin picking this fall. This is particularly the case on weekends. Covid safety measures have brought reduced capacities. If you can at all go on a weekday, you should.
Social distancing and masks are required.
Additional festive elements such as photos with Santa, transport to the cutting field and food service have been scaled back, but some farms have moved gift shops to open air markets.
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. This is also the spot to get colorful Christmas trees, in hues like red, pink, purple and blue. They have over 5,000 trees and several varieties to choose from. You can cut your own tree or pick a pre-cut tree. The cost for cut your own is $10/foot, and they have saw on hand for you to use. Fresh cut trees vary by type and size. Stop by the Christmas Barn for all your holiday decor needs.
Hours: Open Nov. 27 - 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
Cut your own Christmas tree season starts on November 28 at Wilkens Farm, and reservations are required for 2020. The farm grows Douglas and Fraser firs for cutting, and offers fresh-cut Fraser firs as well. The farm's bakery will be selling apple cider donuts, jams, jellies, fruit and pies with window service.
Hours: Wed.-Mon., 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Closed on Tues. in November except Thanksgiving week.
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 cut-your-own tree options in the area. Trees are $65 for heights up to 12 feet and $120 for varieties over 12 feet. (Payment is by cash or check.) Staff is on hand to help you pick the right tree, providing saws, squaring off and shaping branches as well as netting and securing the tree to your car. 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.
Hours: Open weekends, Nov. 27- Dec. 25., 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
35 Orchardside Dr.
Tilden Lane Farm
Tilden Lane Farm offers three types of spruce trees to cut yourself—they're good for holding the weight of lights and decorations—and two kinds of firs, which tend to last longer. Stock is limited if you want to cut your own, so head there Thanksgiving weekend for the best selection. The farm also offers fresh cut Fraser fir trees. Hand saws are available or you can bring your own and staff can help with tree wrapping and securing to your vehicle. Trees are $75, wreaths are $30—or $25 if you buy a tree. Payments by cash and check only.
Hours: 9 a. m. - 3 p. m., weekends only November 28-December 13.
48 Wyckoff St.
Beck's Christmas Trees
It's a bit further afield in Mount Bethel, Pennsylvania, but people love this tree farm for its selection, service and extreme affordability. Prices for Fraser, Turkish, Korean, and Concolor fir are $55.00 for any size tree, and Douglas fir and Blue spruce are $40.00 for any size tree—including tax! Beck's can loan you a saw, and tree bailing and drilling is free. Bonus: there's also a train theme here, with holiday garlands, wreaths and train-themed gifts are available in the barn, the "Christmas Junction."
Hours: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. weekends; 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. weekdays. Opening day Nov. 27
763 S. Delaware Dr.
Mount Bethel, PA
Elwood 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 and will cut one for you with your saw.) 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, but you can get a tree as tall as 25 feet here! Staff recommend arriving early on the weekend to cut wait times. 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
This popular Long Island farm is asking for fans to visit during the week if at all possible to reduce crowding. (It needs to operate at 33 percent capacity this season.) Shamrock Christmas Tree Farm has Douglas firs (5-9 feet) for cut-your-own, pre-cut Fraser firs ranging from seven to 12-feet-tall, and potted Spruce trees, 4 to 11-feet tall. You can also get balled trees, ready for planting, or "Charlie Brown Christmas trees, measuring about four-feet high. The farm also provides plenty of photo ops such as the Peanuts crew rendered in plywood and festive old timey sleighs. (No Santa this year.) 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.
20685 Main Rd.
Jones Family Farms
Weekend cut-your-own requires a reservation at Jones Family Farms this year. The 200-acre farm in Fairfield County offers a variety of height and species including towering firs, pines and spruces, although most are eight feet or less. 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, and an outdoor Holiday Courtyard Market offer open-air shopping. 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., Nov. 21-Dec. 24
555 Walnut Tree Rd.