(credit: Pochini Christmas Tree Farm Facebook)
The San Francisco Bay Area has a plentiful selection of tree farms. The California Christmas Tree Association promotes farms from certified members trained in the best techniques of tree growing, sustainability, safety and care. Other top picks are farms where the tools and transportation to make it all easy are provided for free. At many farms, families can make a day’s outing around their Christmas tree haul, enjoying hayrides, Santa trains, elf workshops, puppet shows, farmyard animals and complimentary snacks and hot drinks which add to the festive atmosphere for all ages. All Christmas tree farms listed below are open on the day after Thanksgiving.
(credit: Frosty Mountain Tree Farm)
Frosty Mountain Tree Farm
3600 Mariola Road
Sebastopol, CA 95472
There’s a lot going on at the Garlock family ranch. Saws, tree carts, a tree shake, a drill hole in the base, netting, twine and a friendly hand to tie the tree to your car are all happily provided for free. Douglas firs, Scotch pines and Monterey pines are grown at the farm. Kids enjoy a complimentary tractor hayride and picnickers are welcome. The old red barn is all set up with Santa’s Workshop and Mrs. Klaus’ Kitchen. A variety of farm animals are in residence as well. Before hitting the road with your new tree, enjoy cookies, homemade popcorn, hot apple cider, Molly’s steaming latte, a mocha or a cup of tea.
(credit: Santa’s Tree Farm)
Santa’s Tree Farm and Village
78 Pilarcitos Creek Road
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
At 487 acres, this is one of the area’s largest choose-and-cut farms. Drive on gravel roads through fields which have four types of fir trees including Douglas firs up to 12 feet tall and Monterey pines up to 10 feet tall. Weekends feature visits from Santa and Rudolph. Kids can enjoy a $2 train ride around the farm as well. Activities include a puppet theater, wreath decorating, music, photo opportunities with the characters, complimentary candy canes and hot apple cider. Tree delivery can be arranged.
(credit: Silveyville Christmas Tree Farm)
Silveyville Christmas Tree and Pumpkin Farm
6208 Silveyville Road
Dixon, CA 95620
This farm is open every day, from pumpkin harvest to Christmas. Since 1979, choose and cut your own Monterey and Scotch pines, redwood cedar or cypress. Two exceptional trees, a Monterey pine and a cedar both grown here, were named as state tree contest winners by the California Christmas Tree Association. Entertainment includes weekend Santa visits, wagon hayrides and tractor rides. Visitors may indulge in cider, coffee and fresh kettle and carmel corn popped on the premises.
(credit: Pochini Christmas Tree Farm)
Pochini Family Christmas Tree Farm
18880 Highway 128
Calistoga, CA 94515
Now in its ninth season, visitors to Pochini Family Christmas Tree Farm choose their own tree to cut from Douglas, white and grand fir, as well as cypress, cedar and redwood. They also have fun with wreath decorating, taking tractor rides and sampling complimentary hot spiced cider, coffee and candy canes. Even better, buy a s’mores kit to enjoy around the campfire as twilight falls. Twinkling white fairy lights are everywhere and a sprinkling of fake snow may fall as well.
(credit: Buddy’s Christmas Trees)
Grandma Buddy’s Christmas Trees
8575 Graton Road
Sebastopol, CA 95472
Visitors choose from among 10,000 trees cared for and trimmed all year round to be in the best possible shape to cut and take home. The main crop is Douglas fir, but there are also bishop pine, blue and white spruce, balsam, white and grand fir options. Flocking, fire proofing and drilling for stands are all available services. The beautiful property includes a Victorian farm house, a white-washed wreath barn and a creek with bridges. See the miniature Christmas village with a locomotive and enjoy complimentary hot chocolate and candy canes while choosing your tree.
Laurie JM Farr is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. A transplanted New Yorker, she has traveled throughout the world as the Big Apple’s official tourism representative. She served as organizer for three Royal Visits to America. As an international relocation consultant, Laurie assisted more than 400 families with overseas moves and is a proud mother of two, thoroughly bi-cultural children. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.