Go walking in a winter wonderland at one of these six idyllic Christmas tree farms
Photo by Heather Palmer via Instagram at @farmtots; other photos courtesy of tree farms
Snow falls at Harris Tree Farm in Pollock Pines.
It’s time to deck the halls and pick out that perfect evergreen. You can find your own Tannenbaum, be it a noble fir or a Sierra redwood, and also have a holly, jolly time roasting marshmallows or taking a train ride at one of these six local tree farms.
Located just outside of Elk Grove, this 40-acre farm grows many varieties of certified organic Christmas trees, including Monterey pine, golden Deodar cedar and Sierra redwood. Cut your own tree or pick out a pre-cut one, then cart it home in your own sleigh or opt to have it delivered straight to your home. Stop by Star’s Craft Barn to select a handmade ornament to commemorate the tree-cutting experience, or pick up a 3-pound bag of organically grown walnuts. Stock up on other festive treats like popcorn, kettle corn or hot chocolate before you hop on a tractor with the family for a ride around the farm. Sat.-Sun. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. through Dec. 18. 687-8354. 8430 Dillard Rd. Wilton. billysfarm.com
Harris Tree Farm
This 150-year-old farm in Pollock Pines has been passed down through seven generations and offers sustainably farmed wreaths and Christmas trees in varieties like silvertip and white fir for patrons to cut themselves. Head to Irene’s Kitchen to pick up a fresh pie or turnover baked with the farm’s own organic fruit and berries in flavors like blackberry nectarine, apple Dutch crunch and strawberry rhubarb. Little ones can visit and take pictures with Santa on selected weekends in December, and the whole family can gather ’round the bonfire, munch on chili and cornbread and roast s’mores. 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily through Dec. 23. 2640 Blair Rd. Pollock Pines. 530-644-2194. harristreefarm.com
Hillside Tree Farm
Lovely are the branches at this 30-acre Camino farm, where you can choose from over 25,000 fresh trees like Nordmann, Noble firs and Fraser firs to cut down and carry out. Cross the road to hop on the Apple Ridge Railroad for a ride around two ponds and through evergreens and orchards on a wintry excursion that is complimentary with your tree purchase. Weekend tree-pickers and train-riders may also get a chance to see Santa ringing the locomotive’s bell. 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Fri.-Sun. though Dec. 18. 2881 N. Canyon Rd. Camino. 530-621-2053. hillsidetreefarm.com
With 180-degree views of the Sierras, this sustainable Placerville farm has been open for over 40 years and raises trees grown from the stumps of previously cut evergreens. Choose from pre-cut trees or go foraging for your own. Friendly farm workers are on-site to lend a helping hand with selecting, cutting and packaging your tree, and visitors are encouraged to pack a lunch or bring s’more ingredients and settle into the outdoor picnic spots and fire pits placed among the Christmas trees. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon.-Fri.; 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat. & Sun. through Dec. 23. 2500 Hassler Rd. Placerville. 530-622-0203. sierramagnificatrees.com
Snowy Peaks Tree Farm
Those dreaming of a white Christmas should visit Snowy Peaks, where the high elevation delivers snow-capped trees and a sweeping view of Foresthill’s Crystal Mountains. Visitors receive a complementary candy cane and hot chocolate upon arrival and can choose a saw to cut down their tree from among rows of red and white firs. After selecting the perfect tree, kids can cavort in the snow then warm up at the tree farm’s bonfire area before hitting the road. 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily through Dec. 19. 30100 Foresthill Rd. Foresthill. 530-367-3766. snowypeaksfarm.com
Prenderosa Christmas Tree Farm
If you're a Sacramento city-dweller, you don't have to venture far from home to choose your tree at this family-run farm in El Dorado, boasting fragrant Douglas firs, Scotts pines, cedars, sequoias and spruces to select and cut down on your own. If you’re in a hurry, you can choose from fresh pre-cut Noble and Nordmann firs to take home, along with wreaths to decorate your front door. But stick around the farm for a little while—there are hot apple cider, candy canes and toasted marshmallows to make the day jolly. 9 a.m.-dusk on weekends; 12 p.m.-dusk on weekdays until supplies last. 1060 First Right Rd. El Dorado. 530-873-2713. chooseandcut.com/prenderosa/