Here’s where to find a great Christmas tree
By Annie Alleman For Sun-Times Media November 21, 2012 10:26AM
A Fraser Fir awaits a perspective buyer. Tags make it easy for customers to select the tree variety they want. | Thomas Delany Jr.~ Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 4, 2012 11:52AM
You might have heard that artificial Christmas trees are better for the earth because you aren’t chopping down a tree that was growing in a pristine forest.
Not true, according to the National Christmas Tree Organization. Granted, they’ve got a vested interest in selling Christmas trees, but they raise some good points.
For example, 98 percent of all Christmas trees sold in the United States were grown on a tree farm as a sustainable crop, just like a pumpkin or tomato. Plus, they are recyclable. Additionally, for every tree that is cut down, three more are planted.
And finally, according to statistics compiled by the National Fire Protection Association, fewer than 1/1000th of a percent of all Christmas trees used each year are involved in a house fire. With proper care, Christmas trees can maintain their freshness and moisture content throughout the season.
And oh, that lovely smell.
In that spirit, here’s a list of area tree farms. Pack up the family, pull on the mittens and scarves, and get ready to find your perfect tree. Just make sure to call first to ensure the variety you want is in stock, and also to check the rules of the farm.
Anderson Tree Farm: Open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily to Dec. 24. A tractor-pulled wagon takes you to the field to look for the perfect White, Scotch and Austrian pine; or Douglas, Balsam and Canaan firs Christmas tree. Pre-cut trees, wreaths and container trees available. Saws, baling and shaking provided. Stay to see the animals and enjoy a free cup of hot chocolate and popcorn. Dogs are allowed in the field but not in the warming house. Cost: $9 per foot for you-cut trees; $65-$120 for pre-cut trees. Credit cards accepted. 24031 W. Main St. (Route 126), Plainfield. (815) 436-2140. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ben’s Christmas Tree Farm: Open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Nov. 23, 24 and 25 and Dec. 1, 2, 8, 9, 15 and 16; and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 30, Dec. 7 and Dec. 14. This 55-acre farm offers thousands of organically-grown trees 6 to 15 feet tall; including Fraser, Balsam, and Canaan Firs; Norway, Englemann, White and Colorado Blue Spruce; and Scotch and White pines. Take a free, horse-drawn or tractor and wagon ride and enjoy a free cup of coffee or hot chocolate in the warming barn. Kids can see farm animals and expect to see Santa Claus himself roll up on a John Deere. Handmade Fraser fir wreaths and garland for sale. Leashed dogs are welcome. Shaking, netting, saws, string and help for tying trees to vehicles are provided. Restrooms. Cost: Firs and spruces 6 to 14 feet: $8.75 per foot. Pines: $39 (5-8½ feet) and $6 per foot (9-14 feet). Cash and checks only. 7719 Ryan Road, Harvard. (630) 279-0216. email@example.com. Benstreefarm.com.
Ben’s Fraser Fir Farm: Open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Nov. 24 and 25 and Dec. 1, 2, 8, 9, 15 and 16. This farm specializes in hand–pruned, organically grown Fraser Fir, Balsam Fir and Norway Spruce from seven to 12 feet tall. Shaking, netting, saws, string and help tying trees to vehicles provided. Restrooms. Cost: $8.75 per foot on all trees. Cash and checks only. 16324 Capron Road, Capron. On Capron Road (Wooster Street) 7 miles west of Harvard and 1 mile south of the town of Capron and Route 173. (630) 279-3227. firstname.lastname@example.org. Benstreefarm.com.
Bengtson Tree Farm: Open 9 a.m. to 4:30 daily Nov. 24 to Dec. 24. This farm has thousands of Canaan firs up to 15 feet tall, and hundreds of Scotch Pines 5 to 9 feet tall in a new field. Other varieties include Colorado Spruce, Black Hills Spruce and White Spruce. Saws require a $5 returnable deposit. Tree shaking and wrapping available. A tree shuttle will retrieve your tree from the field. Handmade wreaths and garland roping for sale. Cost: Pines and firs $7 a foot up to 10 feet. Trees taller than 11 feet are $10 a foot. Cash or check only; an ATM is available on site. 10919 W. Wilmington Road, Peotone. (708) 258-9610. Treefarmusa.com.
Camelot Christmas Tree Farm: Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and Nov. 23. Open Nov. 23 to Dec. 16. New this year is a variety of pre-cut trees to choose from. They offer a variety of trees for you-cut, including Balsam, Canaan, Douglas, Concolor and Fraser Firs; Blue and White Spruce, Scotch and White Pine. Saws, twine, tree shaker and baler provided. The Little Red Shed has farm antiques on display; as well as coffee, hot chocolate and cookies. All trees cost $50. Cash or check only. 16380 S. Somonauk Road, DeKalb. (815) 756-6599. Camelottrees.com.
Craig/Cinnamon Christmas Tree Farm: Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 23 and then weekends only to Dec. 23, or call for appointment. Choose and cut your own White Pine, Scotch Pine and Australian Pines; Blue Spruce, Serbian Spruce, White Spruce, Norway Spruce, Douglas Fir, Frasier Fir, Canaan Fir, and Balsams. Saw, shaking and baling provided. Fresh wreaths and garland are for sale, as well as handmade quilts and tree skirts. No restrooms, no smoking, no pets allowed. Cost: $35-$75. Cash or check only. 13579 Howison Road, DeKalb. (815) 757-0717. Craigcinnamonchristmastrees.com.
Cupola House Tree Farm: Open 8:30 a.m. to dusk daily to Dec. 22. More than 24,000 Fraser, Balsam, Canaan, Concolor and Douglas firs; Norway and Colorado Blue Spruce; White and Scotch pine available for you-cut. Saws, rope, shaking and baling provided. Pre-cut trees, container trees, decorated wreaths and garland and other greens for sale. Stay for a hayride and hot spiced cider. Dogs on leashes are welcome. Cost: Pines $4.25 a foot; spruce and firs $6.50 a foot. Cash or check only. 4030 N. 3000W Road, Bourbonnais. (815) 932-6635. Cupolahousetrees.com.
Grizzy’s Tree Farm: Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekends only to Dec. 9. Scotch and White pines, Blue and Norway spruce, and Fraser and Douglas firs. Saws, twine, shaking and baling provided. Dogs on leashes are welcome. Cost: $45 for long needle; short needle trees slightly more. Check or cash only. 15900 Marengo Road, Union. (847) 812-2961. email@example.com.
Honey Bee Acres Christmas Tree Farm: Open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Nov. 23, 24, 25 and 30; plus Dec. 1, 2, 7, 8 and 9. Three types of trees up to 10 feet tall: Pines ($40), Spruces ($56) and Firs ($56). Cash, check or credit card are accepted; no American Express or debit cards. Discount for active military with ID. Bring saw and blanket, bag or tarp. Tree shaking and carts are provided. Tree stands, wreaths and garlands for sale. The Reindeer Café serves breakfast and lunch. Santa Claus visits several times. Get a free picture with your tree on a red velvet antique sled and a cup of cider. Indoor parking during inclement weather. Dogs on leashes are welcome. 41W072 Bowes Road, Elgin. (847) 464-9627. Honeybeeacreschristmastreefarm.net.
Ide Christmas Trees: Open 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 23 and weekends; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday to Dec. 23. This family-run farm has been in operation for more than 55 years, and has more than 45,000 trees to choose from, including several varieties of Spruce and Pines. Saw requires a $5 deposit. Tree hauler wagons and twine are available. Cost: $60 per tree. No credit cards. 1500 83rd St., Downers Grove. (630) 743-4032. Idechristmastrees.com.
Kuiper’s Family Farm: Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily to Christmas. Wide selection of firs and pines; plus fresh, pre-cut firs. Saws, shaking, baling and apple cider doughnuts provided. Handmade wreaths, baked goodies, crafts and decorations for sale. Cost: $84 for firs any size; $49 for any size pines. Pre-cut trees are priced by size. $5 off coupon on website. No dogs. Checks and credit cards accepted. 1 N 318 Watson Road, Maple Park. (815) 827-5200. kuipersfamilyfarm.com.
Larson’s Family Farm: Open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Nov. 23; after that 2 to 4:30 Tuesday to Friday; 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekends to Dec. 20. Caanan, Concolor and Douglas firs; plus Norway Spruce, Scotch Pine and White Pine. Saws, shaking and baling are provided. Sip spiced apple cider in the holiday barn store. Two sizes of evergreen wreaths are for sale. No dogs. Cost: All trees $35; wreaths $14-$32. Cash or check only. 4404 Somonauk Road, Sandwich. (815) 786-2249. larsonfamilyfarm.com.
Lee’s Trees: Open 1 to 5 p.m. Fridays; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 23 and weekends to Dec. 23. Scotch and White pine, Canaan and Douglas firs and Serbian spruce. Pre-cut trees from their Wisconsin farm include Fraser, Balsam and Canaan firs and White Pine. Homemade wreaths, swags, centerpieces, ropes and other holiday decorations for sale. Hot chocolate, coffee, popcorn, cookies, saws, shaking, baling and tree loading provided. Pets welcome. Cost: Average price of you-cut trees is $65. Pre-cut: Balsam Fir — $65-$70, Fraser Fir — $90-$110, White Pine — $45-$50. Credit cards accepted. 45W002 Lees Road, Lily Lake. (630) 365-2116. leestreesusa.com.
Marmion Abbey Tree Farm: Open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily to Dec. 23. You-cut and pre-cut trees; check the web site for types. Warming house and seasonal store with a variety of Marmion-made gifts, ornaments and Christmas supplies. Saws for a $10 deposit. Cost: you cut, $40; pre-cut, $8 per foot. Cash or check only. Dogs on leashes are allowed. 850 Butterfield Road, Aurora. (630) 897-7215 ext. 375. Abbeyfarms.org.
Oney’s Tree Farm and Nursery: Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily Nov. 23 to Dec. 14. Several varieties of pines and firs ranging in height from 6 to 15 feet. Shaking, baling, saws and twine provided. Live trees with root balls sold. Wreaths, garland, evergreen bundles and centerpieces in the gift barn; as well as homemade cinnamon rolls, sandwiches, popcorn and nachos. Mrs. Claus visits in North Pole House from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 23 and weekends. Pony rides. Cost: You cut: $52-$125 (pines); $62 (firs). Pre-cut range from $68-$160. Dogs on leashes are welcome. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, cash and checks accepted. 16608 U.S. 14, Woodstock. (815) 338-4108. Oneystreefarm.net.
Pine Apple Acres: Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 23 and Tuesday to Sunday to Dec. 16. Firs, pines and spruces. Shaking, baling and hot apple cider provided. No dogs. Cost: $75 per tree. Cash or check only. 41 W 651 Powers Road, Huntley. (847) 669-3251. Pineapple-acres.com.
Pine-Apple Farm: Open 9 a.m. to dusk Nov. 23 and weekends to Dec. 16. Cut-your-own Douglas firs, Scotch pine, Black Hills and Colorado Blue Spruce. Pre-cut Fraser firs are available. Saws, shaking, baling, string and loading provided. Pines cost $55 any size; firs and spruces cost $75 any size; pre-cut Fraser firs cost $65 and up. Cash and check only. 309 Three Oaks Road, Cary. (847) 639-3248. Pine-applefarm.com.
Pioneer Tree Farm: Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 23-25 and Dec. 1, 2, 8 and 9. Wagon rides to and from the fields. Saws, shaking, baling, hot coffee and cocoa in the warming house provided. Holiday items are for sale in the warming house. Leashed dogs are welcome. Cost: $45 any size. Cash and check only. 4616 Pioneer Road, McHenry. (815) 385-8512. Pioneertreefarm.com.
Spring Bluff Nursery: Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 23 and weekends until Dec. 9. Scotch, White and Austrian Pines available for cutting. Saws, shaking, neting and loading provided. Handmade wreaths, boughs, swags and roping garland for sale. Cost: $50 per tree for most sizes. Cash or check only. 41W130 Norris Road, Sugar Grove. (630) 466-4278. Springbluffnursery.com.
Tammen Tree Berry Farm: Open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily beginning Nov. 23. This Wilmington farm grows Christmas trees on 160 acres. Douglas fir up to 10 or 11 feet, Fraser fir and Canaan fir up to 8 or 9 feet, and some Scotch and white pines up to 7 feet. Shaking and baling cost $7. Cost: $50 per tree. Credit and debit cards accepted. 37131 Essex Road, Wilmington. (800) 892-5989. Tammentreeberryfarm.net.
Ziegler Christmas Tree Farm: Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 23-25, Dec. 1, 2 and 8. Balsam, Douglas and Concolor firs; Scotch and White pines; Black Hills, Blue and White spruce. Wreaths, garland, ornaments, candles, stockings and more for sale in the gift shop. Shaking, baling and saws provided. Leashed dogs welcome. Chicagoland Dog Rescue will be out with Santa from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 24 and Dec. 1 to take pictures and visit with children. Any Scotch pine for $25 from 9 to 11 a.m. Nov. 25. You must be in line to pay by 11 a.m. to receive this discount. Cost: Firs $68, pines $39, spruce $53. Tax not included. Cash and checks only. 42W109 McDonald Road, Elgin. (847) 464-5776. Zieglerchristmastreefarm.com.