By Holly Smith Peterson
There’s definitely a cold snap in the air, and people are already talking turkey all over town. What comes right after that? Christmas, of course. And you don’t want to be the last one at the tree farm left with only a straggly Charlie Brown sapling this year. The holiday season is in full swing, and as Christmas fast approaches you want to be prepared. To help you on your hunt for the perfect Christmas tree, SouthSoundTalk is rounding-up your top tree-shopping sites around the region – and even a little bit beyond, too.
Double Four Tree Farm
This farm and family business started 33 years ago on a picturesque tract of land right along one of the region’s back highways. With more than 20,000 trees across 22 acres, and another 3,500 seedlings planted each year, there’s plenty from which to choose. There’s also lots to see and do, like chase turkeys and pheasants, pet other farm animals, and browse for crafts and wreaths at the gift shop.
Tip: Give a “Mooooooo!” to Uncle Bob, the 88-year-old brown-and-white bovine that roams the fields.
Where: 4217 72nd St E, Tacoma
When: Nov. 28 – Dec. 20 (cutting); Saturday and Sunday: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.; Tuesday – Friday: noon – 4:00 p.m.
Snow Shoe Evergreen Inc. U-Choose & Cut Christmas Tree Farm
The true story of tree farming is what you’ll find on these 55-acre grounds, where tree-cutting is part of the family Christmas tradition. It’s Kristi and Jerome O’Leary’s one-stop shop, with not just a range of sizable evergreens but also saws, stands, wrapping, and disposal bags. Everything from designer wreaths and garlands to holiday holly bouquets and locally produced honey are in the gift shop — and don’t forget the complimentary candy canes, tiny trees for youngsters in the Kid Zone, and an area for writing letters to Santa.
Tip: Snow Shoe Evergreen is dedicated to educating children about the story and science of “real tree farming,” so book a School Tour (call Kristi at 253-848-3492).
Where: 10716 SR 162 E, Puyallup
When: Nov. 28 – Dec. 14; Saturday and Sunday: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Monday – Friday: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Holiday U-Cut Christmas Trees
“Serving you is our family tradition,” is the motto for Rick and Sharee Thompson’s woodlands site. They began their business in 1983, and through three changes of venue, customers have been raving ever since. “Warm and friendly” are frequent comments, as are compliments on the tasty hot cider.
Tip: Get your tree wrapped and drilled while you’re there.
Where: 39908 Dean Kreger Rd, Eatonville
When: Nov. 23 – Dec. 16; Friday – Sunday: 9:00 a.m. – dusk
Coates Christmas Trees
Say, “Santa and free candy canes!” and no more enticement is needed to bring the tikes out to experience this rural tree farm. Hay rides, hot chocolate, and the chance to chop down your own evergreen are all in this fun family experience. No saws are necessary; they’re available on site, as are tree balers and stands. Browse the gift shop for holiday stocking-stuffers, wreaths and garlands, and decorative holly and mistletoe.
Where: 17225 SE Green Valley Rd, Auburn
When: Nov. 28 – Dec. 23; Saturday and Sunday: 9:00 a.m. – dark; Monday – Friday: noon – 5:00 p.m.
Pfaff’s U-Cut Christmas Trees
“We believe that families want a fresh, quality tree at a reasonable price,” is the motto for this friendly farm. And it’s been a hard year for many, so prices haven’t been raised from last year. You can pick out your Christmas tree and your bonfire wood all at once here, with saws, balers, and stands on site. Holiday decorations and wreaths are at the gift shop, and the kids will enjoy the cocoa and candy canes — not to mention Santa’s house, with a menagerie of goats, sheep, and other farm animals behind it.
Tip: “Charlie Brown” trees are just $25; smaller “Snoopy” trees for the kids’ rooms are just $16.
Where: 29204 124th Ave SE, Auburn
When: Nov. 28 – Dec. 24; Saturday and Sunday: 9:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.; Monday – Friday: 10:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Country Tree Farm
Santa visits on Sundays, and there’s always hot cocoa at this easy-to-find farm. All of the trees are pesticide-free and hand-trimmed, as are the garlands, wreaths and other holiday greenery.
Where: 18225 116TH Ave SE, Renton
When: Nov. 28 – Dec. 24; Friday, Nov. 28, 9:00 a.m. -4:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday: 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Uncle Eek’s U-Cut Christmas Trees
Uncle Eek is actually Uncle Eric, whose two nieces were just toddlers when he planted the first trees in the middle of suburban Kent. Today, you’ll find 1,000 untouched evergreens of all kinds: Nobles, Turkish, Grands, and even pre-cut Douglas Firs. All of the wintry trimmings for home are available for purchase as well, with free saws and a tree baler on site.
Where: 12202 Kent Kangley Rd, Kent
When: Nov. 29 – Dec. 23; Saturday and Sunday: 9:00 a.m – 6:00 p.m.; Tuesday – Friday: 11:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Five Springs Tree Farm
Head to this very rural and heavily forested edge of the South Sound to feel like you’re reliving Christmas in pioneer days. In fact, this farm specializes in 0ld fashioned, untrimmed natural Douglas firs that tower up to 20-feet-tall. Grand, Noble, Norwegian Spruce, Scotch Pines, and more are also ready for cutting. Dress up the rest of your home for the season with handmade garlands and wreaths; hot beverages are available, too.
Where: 15331 Bandix Rd SE, Olalla
When: Nov. 28 – Dec. 14; Friday, Nov. 28, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday: 9:00 a.m. – 5:0o p.m.; Thursday – Friday: noon – 5:00 p.m.
The Wreath Works
Originally Washington state’s largest turkey farm, this 18-acre family property started as agricultural land in the 1940s. A Christmas tree farm was planted in 1986 and the Wreath Works was started four years later. When tree sales began six years after, the business name came from a frequent family comment: “The Wreaths Work!”and now there are more than 1,000 visitors during the holiday season, with 800-plus fresh-cut trees sold annually. And wreath sales have topped 1,500 worldwide in just the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Tip: Trees run $4.50 – $8 per foot, with custom flocking at $4 per foot.
Where: 15384 Glenwood Rd SW, Port Orchard
When: Nov. 29 – Dec. 23; 9:00 a.m – dusk daily
NOTE: If you really want to hike out into the South Sound wilds for your Christmas tree, permits are now available to chop on in Gifford Pinchot National Forest. It’s $5, good for one tree, and available at the ranger stations. Visit the Gifford Pinchot website for a list of other vendors selling permits.