Apparently, it’s that time of year – Hooray!
For those of you who like to get festive – and have some fun doing it – how about driving a bit outside the GTA and picking your own Christmas tree from an authentic tree farm?
You can have a great day tramping about in the back country, get a fresh, gorgeous tree, pay less than you would in the GTA, and support a small business all at the same time. For everything but the more expensive fir trees, you can get any tree you want for less than $50 (plus a couple of dollars for wrapping)
Below we’ve listed the 6 best places outside the GTA to pick-your-own Christmas tree. Most of these places take cash only, so get to a bank machine – and have a great day finding that perfect tree. Most have some pre-cut options, but then that’s kinda defeating the purpose. They also supply sleds and saws. All these places have a small shack of sorts to warm up in – and to have a quick snack or hot chocolate. A special shout out to Rina’s who has a hay wagon on weekends for the young’uns.
Keep in mind that these trees were grown to be cut for Christmas. You’re going to a tree farm. Please do not go into a forest and cut a tree down yourself
Following the list of tree farms, we’ve provided a handy descriptive list of the types of trees you’re likely to see. Print it off and bring it along to make sure you get the Christmas tree you want.
In no particular order (location probably being the prime consideration):
6639 Wellington County Rd #34, Puslinch (Near Waterloo)
Dates: November 29 – December 22
Hours: Fridays from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Pick-your-own closes at 4:45 p.m.
1421 Prestonvale Rd., Courtice (East of Whitby)
Dates: 7-days a week, starting December 1
Hours: Saturday & Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
1762 Sixth Concession W, Rockton (near Hamilton)
Dates: November 29 – December 24
Hours: 7-days a week from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
105 Orchard Hill Rd., Pelham (Near Niagra Falls)
Dates: November 23 – December 15
Hours: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. until dark.
Two locations: 1554 Concession 5 West, Flamborough & 1650 Concession 6 West, Flamborough (near Hamilton)
Dates: November 29 – December 24:
4485 2nd Concession Rd., Stouffville/Uxbridge (near Pickering)
Dates: November 29 – December 21
Hours: Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Christmas Trees – Descriptions
There’s no right or wrong. The right tree depends on how much space you have, the colour you like, and the shape that brings a smile to your face. Needle retention is a big deal, too. If you need a tree to last a month, then some of the spruce trees should be avoided. As well, the Fir trees will cost more – sometimes double.
Scotch Pine: Probably the most popular Christmas Tree (ie, cost effective). They grow quickly, so growers love them. The needles of about 1” long, a little sharp so be careful. Colour is bright green.
White Pine: Soft, flexible needles, bluish-green in colour, with a smooth bark. Needles are fairly long, about 2 – 2 ½ inches. The limbs aren’t that strong, so you can’t load these babies up with decorations. Relatively little scent. Great where you like a few bulbs and some lights, but nothing too extravagant.
White Spruce: Needles are excellent for ornaments because they’re short and blunt, about ½ to ¾ inch long – very pretty too – the needles grow all around the branch. Bluish-green colour is quite beautiful – although be careful not to crush the needles as this gives off a slightly off-putting smell. Needle retention is goof for a spruce, about 3 weeks.
Norway Spruce: These trees have soft needles that grow horizontal, and the bark has a reddish colour (some people call them a red fir – it’s wrong, but whatever – it’s the holidays). Dark green in colour, with a nice conical shape. This traditional Christmas tree from Euope has a nice scent and holds decorations well. Needle retention is short, however – about 2 weeks.
Balsam Fir: This is considered one of the more beautiful of the Christmas trees – and one of the more expensive. The needles are relatively short, ¾ – 1 ½ inches long, but they’re soft, and the tree itself is wonderfully aromatic. The branches also grow horizontally and they are strong, making it the perfect tree to decorate. Colour ranges from medium to deep green. Finally, as if those qualities weren’t enough, needle retention is excellent.
Fraser Fir: The is the Cadillac of the Christmas tree. Colour is a bit darker than the Balsam, and more on the blue-green spectrum. Branches slant upwards. Needled retention is also very good; they can last upwards of a month or more (with watering). Scent is fabulous, and the shape is perfect. Can’t go wrong with the Fraser.
BOOM Breakfast & Co. has four locations in the GTA and Vaughan, open from 7 to 4. Please come in after you get your tree and let us warm you up with one of our Hot Chocolates (and that includes the Gingerbread Latte!)