If you’re looking for the charm of a Christmas tree farm this year when picking out your Douglas fir or spruce, you might have to do a bit of driving.
But they all offer that charm.
Wander the grounds at Tanner’s Enchanted Forest and Pines Farm, both in Brandywine, and select a tree to cut down yourself. Both of those farms, and Miller Farms in Clinton offer a variety of holiday treats, either for sale or on the house, including wreathes, butter cookies, fudge, fruitcakes and hot cider.
“During nice weather like this weekend people come out and have picnics,” said Lucretia Tanner of Tanner’s Enchanted Forest. “People make themselves at home.”
Her family has been planting trees since 1975, replacing the tobacco that her husband used to grow, but she’s noticed a difference over the years. More people seem to be moving to the increasingly lifelike artificial trees, some that even come pre-strung with lights, she said.
The number of Christmas trees harvested has been falling nationwide. The country saw a 16 percent decline in harvested Christmas trees from 2002 to 2007, and Maryland saw a 22 percent decline, according to the National Christmas Tree Association.
But in nearby North Carolina the number of harvested trees jumped 6 percent over that time span. Nearly 3 million Christmas trees were harvested there in 2007, second only to Oregon. In Maryland, that number was about 78,000.
Tanner said a lot of people travel to North Carolina for their trees, because the popular Douglas and Fraser firs grow better there than in Maryland.
“Those are the trees that are most popular. Every newspaper article talks about how wonderful those kinds of trees are,” Tanner said.
Jean Richards, who co-owns Pines Farm with her husband, Joseph, said they offer pre-cut Frasier firs from North Carolina.
“The people just go crazy about these pre-cut Frasier firs that we get in. I guess the most trees that are cut from the [Pines Farm] field are the white pines. Our Scotch pines that are growing in the field, we only have a couple of rows of them because … they’re a long, heavier prickly-like needle.”
She said few customers go for that, because the long needles don’t seem to hold ornaments as well.
“But they come and cut our short-needle trees down before they get 7-feet tall,” she said.
Check out the interactive map, and click on each tree for hours of operation, tree types, price ranges, services and products. Did we miss any farms in Prince George’s County? Let us know!