Cut your own: Here's our annual roundup of the many tree farms in the area

DOWN WITH CHRISTMAS TREES!

November 26, 1998|By Sandra Crockett | Sandra Crockett,SUN STAFF

For some people, Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without the annual ritual of trekking to a farm and choosing a tree. Now is the time to get out there to get some of the choicest picks.

"From what people have been calling and asking about, I would (( say the most popular ones are the Douglas fir and the Fraser fir," says JoAnn Cashman, executive secretary of the Maryland Christmas Tree Association.

"We don't have as many Fraser firs grown around here," she says. "But more and more farmers are trying to grow them because people are asking for them."

To make sure you get the most for your dollar, make sure the tree is up to par.

"They need to check for freshness," Cashman says. "If you bend a needle, it shouldn't just break, it should go 'boing,' is the best way I can describe it. Of course, you will have some brown leaves, but it shouldn't be a lot of leaves. If you see a brown branch, it's probably a dried tree."

The Christmas-tree-buying season is just now kicking into high gear.

"It's busy the first weekend [after] Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve," Cashman says. "The phone is ringing now. Most people who are calling now want to get the 'choose and cut' brochure."

When preparing to choose a tree, it's best to call ahead to the farm to check hours before piling the family in the car for the trip.

"A lot of farmers just work weekends, but some are open all week," she says.

Prices vary according to the size of the tree and the area. "Here in Carroll County, we have trees for around $18. But in Montgomery County, the trees could go for around $40," Cashman says.

Once the Christmas tree is home, some tree farmers recommend, cut a quarter- to a half-inch off the base of the trunk. Be sure the tree stand is always filled with water.

Then decorate. Sit back. Enjoy.

Tree farms

Here's a list of farms in the area where you can cut your own Christmas tree. For more tree tips, see the National Christmas Tree Association Web site at www.christree.org.

Brandy Farms. 410-721-5868. About 1 mile north of Crofton. Take Route 3 north to St. Stephens Church Road. Farm is first house on the left at Brandy Farm Lane. Nov. 27-Dec. 20, or until sold out. Noon-4 p.m. weekdays; 9 a.m.-4 p.m. weekends.

Friendship Trees. 410-741-5712. From Capital Beltway take Route 4 south to Route 260 to Route 778. Go left on Route 778 a half mile to farm on left. Open Nov. 27-Dec. 20, or until sold out. Noon-4: 30 p.m. weekdays; 9 a.m.-4: 30 p.m. weekends.

All Timber Hill Farm. 410-343-1940. From Interstate 83 take Exit 36 (Route 439, Old York Road) east for 3.5 miles to sign on left. Open daily: Nov. 27-Dec. 23. 9: 30 a.m.-4: 30 p.m. weekdays; 8: 30 a.m.-4: 30 p.m. weekends.

Doyle's Tree Farm. 410-357-8056. About 3 miles northeast of Hereford. From I-83, take Middletown Road (Exit 31) east a half mile to dead end at York Road. Turn right on York Road, go quarter mile, turn left on Wiseburg Road and continue for half mile. Turn right on Bernoudy Road. Continue 1 mile to sign on right. Open Nov. 27-Dec. 20, weekends only, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Elliott's Ventura Farms. 410-771-4510. In Butler. From I-695 take Falls Road Exit 23B (Route 25). Proceed north on Falls Road for 12 miles to farm on right. Open Nov. 27-Dec. 20, Thursdays-Sundays only, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Feezers Tree Farm. 410-461-5654 or 410-461-5555. About 5 miles west of Randallstown. From the Beltway take Exit 18, Route 26 west, for 8 miles. Turn left on Wards Chapel Road, go 1.8 miles to sign on right. Or take I-70 west from Beltway to Marriottsville Road north past the McKeldin Area of Patapsco Valley State Park to sign on left. Open Dec. 5-20, 7: 30 a.m.-5 p.m. weekends.

Frostee Tree Farms. 410-687-3344 or 410-256-5560. About 1 mile northeast of White Marsh Mall. From I-695 take I-95 north to first exit to Route 40 east. Take Route 40 a quarter mile to a left on Ebenezer Road, which becomes Cowenton Avenue, to sign on left. Open Nov. 27-Dec. 25, 8 a.m.-dark daily.

Green Hill Farm. 410-592-7813. About eight miles from Towson. From I-695 take Exit 27 (Dulaney Valley Road) north 4 miles, crossing Loch Raven Bridge, then bear right 2 miles to Peerce's Plantation, then left 2 miles along Dulaney Valley Road to Manor Road. Turn left onto Manor Road and the farm is 1.5 miles on the left. Open Nov. 28-Dec. 20, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. weekends.

Martin's Tree Farm. 410-374-2593. Take I-83 north to Exit 27. Turn left and go 7 miles west on Route 137 to right on Falls Road. Farm is 2.5 miles on left. Open through Dec. 24, Wednesday-Sunday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Mount Carmel Tree Farm. 410-329-8032. Three miles west of Hereford. From Beltway take I-83 north to Mount Carmel Road (Exit 27). Go west 2.75 miles to sign on left. Open Nov. 27-Dec. 23, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. daily.

Oak Hill Tree Farm. 410-343-1212. About 2.5 miles northwest of Hereford. Take Exit 27 off I-83. Take Mount Carmel Road west for about a half mile, then go right on Masemore Road over Gunpowder River to sign on right. Open Dec. 5-Dec. 20, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday; 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.

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