Cut Your Own Christmas Tree This Winter

What can be more christmassy than a sweet scent of fresh fir needles at your home? And what can be a better way to get a Christmas tree tha...

What can be more christmassy than a sweet scent of fresh fir needles at your home? And what can be a better way to get a Christmas tree than cutting one with your own hands? Luckily, you can do it if you visit one of the u-cut farms in your area, and it's totally legal and nature friendly. After having an artificial tree for over a decade, we finally decided to dump it out and switch to a real one this year.

First of all, if you're looking for the cheapest option, you should stop reading this article and go straight to IKEA. I don't think you'll find a cheaper one anywhere else. I have nothing against IKEA or any other retailer that sells Christmas trees in big quantities, but this article is not about buying a tree, it's about the whole experience that comes with it. Experience and memories that will probably last for many years, especially if you do it with your loved ones.
Canadians living in the Ottawa area are blessed with wintery and snowy weather throughout the holiday season. It's not super cold, but just cold enough so that the crispy air on a sunny day makes your Christmas spirit even more festive. I'm telling you as someone who lived in Toronto for seven years where you get lucky if there is any snow on the ground in the month of December.
There are a plenty of tree farms to choose from in the Ottawa area which, based on my Google search, holds true for every major city in Canada and many places in the United States.
Cutting your tree at a farm not only satisfies your own inner lumberjack, but also makes for a sustainable forestry and is in fact healthy for the planet. Why? Because while growing up a young tree absorbs much more carbon dioxide than an old one. And farming like that ensures sustainability through continuity as new trees are planed on the land where their predecessors were cut. Plus I hope it generates a good revenue for local farmers. So it's a win-win for everyone.
Speaking about local businesses. I rarely endorse anyone or anything, but I think this farm deserves it. Cedar Hill Christmas Tree Farm is a family-run business that brings joy to local communities for over 30 years. It's located between Almonte and Pakenham in Ontario, a short drive from Ottawa.
The farm grows 5 types of trees: Fraser Fir, Balsam Fir, Blue Spruce, White Spruce, and Scotch Pine. My favourite one is Balsam Fir thanks to its very sweet scent that reminds me about my first hiking experience in the Adirondacks Mountains in New York.
Evergreen trees grow relatively fast: it takes about 10 years for a tree to be ready for a cut. People normally buy a tree between 6 and 9 feet / 1.8 and 2.7 m long, but you can certainly find a shorter or taller one if you wish.
Most farms like this one don't charge any admission fee and there is no obligation for you to buy a tree. Having said so, there are some freebies, mostly for kids though, but it didn't prevent me from enjoying some of them as well. I'm talking about sliding downhill on a snow tube. Oh boy, how cool it was to bump into a hay stack like a curling stone! Kids also like a hay castle, a mini zip-line and two petting bunnies. A little tip: the place empties out after 4 pm, so you and your family can have almost everything to yourselves.
I actually quite enjoyed the scenery at the farm. There is a creek, a tribunary of the Mississippi River. There is a covered bridge across it, almost like in Vermont, but definitely not that old.
Ah, did I mention about their cafe with a cozy wood fireplace? They serve the best pecan cake and maple syrup cheesecake in town. I suspect that most of the food they sell is made on site.
But let's go back to cutting a tree. Your journey will likely start with a tractor and a wagon ride that will take you to a tree plantation.
You can pick a saw if you don't have one. As far as I know, no chainsaws and axes are allowed. 
Picking the right tree can seem tricky at the beginning, but most people spend no more than 10 minutes before their bow saw hits the bottom of a tree's trunk. 
For a small fee, your tree can be wrapped with a twine for easy transportation. 
Hope I convinced you to cut your own Christmas tree this year at one of the u-cut farms. But hurry up if you want to pick one before all nice and straight trees become stumps. Enjoy!

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