I drove by a tree farm in Buckeystown on Friday, and there was a steady stream of cars leaving the farm, with the “perfect” tree strapped to the roof. It was the day after Thanksgiving, and many families were gearing up for Christmas.
Seeing those trees reminded me of the tree farms I visited last year on my daily photo walks. If you think the most that needs to be decided is whether spruce or pine or Douglas fir is going to grace the living room this year, you may want to consider another decision: which tree farm? In Frederick County, there are many to choose from. This link is from a recent edition of the Frederick News-Post. Scroll to the end for a list of local farms. Local Tree Farms
Some families have firm traditions of returning to the same tree farm year after year, some for several generations. But if you are just getting started with the “cut your own” experience, you may want to check out different farms by taking a walk on some of them first. I found that each farm I visited last year had a different feel and approach to selling trees. Some catered to children; some were like taking a trip to a family farm out in the country; others were true commercial operations, with long lines of people waiting to have their trees shaken and netted and hoisted to the rooftop. I enjoyed my visits to each and every one of them.
When I arrived at a farm, I always asked permission of the owners to walk the property, and they were very accommodating. One even lent me an orange vest to wear, because it was (and is again) rifle season for deer. As I walked the perimeter of these large farms, I would often yell out, “I am not a deer!” Luckily, no one took any shots at me.
I walked in freezing cold weather, in rain, and on sunny, pleasant days. Because I usually walked on weekdays, I was often the only person out among the trees.
Here are the lessons I learned while walking tree farms.
- The colder the weather is, the quicker you will find a tree.
- The more people you have with you on your tree hunt, the harder it is to make a decision.
- If you forgot to bring a saw with you out to the fields, send the whiniest child back to get it.
- Hauling fresh cut Christmas trees uphill back to the barn a half a mile away is harder if you have three children riding on the cart, dragging their feet.
- The most beautiful trees are the ones that are the farthest away from the barn.
- The farther you get from the barn, the more likely it is that one of the children will need to use the bathroom.
- Everyone in the family finds the perfect tree; however, rarely is everyone’s perfect tree the same tree.
The photos in this entry are from Clemsonville, Marshall’s, E and E Trees, and Mayne’s.
“Life Through My Lens” is a travel/photography blog written by Cam Miller, copyright 2013
Email: cam.miller@comcast. net