Ever want to be a lumberjack? Why not celebrate a real old-fashioned Christmas this year and cut down your own tree? Leave parking lot tree stands to flocked-tree lovers and head out to one of Texas’s more than 400 Christmas tree plantations for a breath of cold country air and an afternoon of adventure.
Texas soils are perfect for two types of pine trees-Virginia and Eldarica. But unless you’re a pine expert, chances are you won’t be able to tell one from the other. And whichever variety you select, the choose-your-own tree farms offer the freshest trees around since you chop ’em down yourself.
Selecting a tree farm requires some careful investigation. Several are wholesale only and others are retail lots stocked with pre-cut trees no more exciting than those at your in-town 7-Eleven. Be sure you choose a tree farm that invites customers to choose-and-cut if you really want to do the chopping yourself.
We’ve tracked down four spots that could land you the prettiest tree in town, The Christmas Tree Farm in Lindale is two hours outside of Dallas. They grow all sizes of Virginia pines and are open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, noon to dusk. For directions, call (214) 882-4059. Santa’s Texas Christmas Tree Farm, on the outskirts of Jacksonville, is another farm two hours from town. Virginia pines are their specialty, and trees average anywhere from three to eleven feet. They’re open seven days a week from 8 a.m. until dusk, and you can call (214) 586-9258 for directions. The Berg Plantation in New Braunfels, about a four-hour drive from Dallas, is full of Eldarica pine, and you can browse their forest seven days a week. Call (512) 625-8653 for directions. For a real road trip (five hours south of Dallas), the Lytle Christmas Tree Farm in Lytle also grows the Eldarica pine. They’re open on weekends only, 9 a.m. until dusk. Call (512) 772-3195 or (512) 772-4667 for more information.
For a list of Texas tree farms, call the Texas Forestry Association at (409) 632-8733.