don't know another holiday tradition practiced as exuberantly by
children and adults alike as putting up the Christmas tree. My childhood
memory is the excitement of running through the woods just ahead of my
parents to find the perfect tree. The fresh evergreen scent that was
released with the first few cuts from the saw's blade. Brushing off snow
or finding an old bird's nest made the experience more personal. After
our tree was set up, it was always bigger than it looked in the field.
Finally, and my favorite part, was the magic moment when we turned off
all the house lights and nestled into the couch to stare at the soft
glow of Christmas lights. It was the most perfect Christmas tree in the
world and all was ready for the fat man in the red suit.
How to Pick a Christmas Tree
Bob Scrivener of Scrivener's Choose & Cut Tree Farm in Prince Frederick
says, "You don't want to run your hand down a branch and get a bunch of
loose needles. There should be no needle loss if the tree is fresh. You
also want a tree with a strong evergreen scent." James Horstkamp of
Basford Creek Tree Farm in Chaptico suggests that "the best way to
guarantee a fresh tree is to cut it from the field. Fresher is also
better for safety sake, and to ensure the pleasant aroma for as long as
How to Care for Your Tree
Horstkamp recommends you "store your cut tree in the shade, so the sun
and wind don't dry it out, and place it in water immediately. If it's
been more than four hours from cutting to placing in the stand, cut off
another inch of trunk because sap will seal the cut, and that hinders
the tree from drinking water. Trees can drink up to a gallon a day, so
make sure you water continually until the tree stops drinking." Kelly
Bryant of Middletons' Cedar Hill Farm in Waldorf cautions that you
should keep your tree away from heat sources, because they will cause it
to dry out quickly.
How to Dispose of Your Tree
According to the National Christmas Tree Association, approximately
25-30 million trees are sold in the U.S. each year, and one billion are
planted to replace and refurbish the crop. Scrivener adds, "After the
life of your Christmas tree, there are a few ways for the tree to
continue to be useful." He suggests taking it to your county's landfill
to be recycled as mulch, or leaving the whole tree in the woods to serve
as wildlife habitat. ?
Consider purchasing a live tree from your local nursery and planting it
in your back yard after the holidays!
Cut Your Own Tree
Scrivener's Choose & Cut Tree Farm
1130 M. I. Bowen Road, Prince Frederick
HOURS: Daily noon-5 p.m.
TYPE: Douglas fir
Middletons' Cedar Hill Farm
13290 Cedar Hill Pl., Waldorf, 240-416-4039
HOURS: Daily 9 a.m.-8 p.m.
TYPES: Douglas/Fraser fir, blue spruce, white pine
ALSO AVAILABLE: Wreaths, centerpieces, swags, and graveyard blankets
Tyo's Christmas Trees
5495 Benny Gray Point Rd., Nanjemoy
HOURS: Fri. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
TYPES: Concolor fir, blue spruce, Scotch pine
St. Mary's County
Basford Creek Tree Farm
36498 Millpoint Rd., Chaptico, 301-904-5928
HOURS: Fri.-Sun. 9 a.m.-dark
TYPES: Douglas/Fraser/Canaan/concolor fir, blue spruce
ALSO AVAILABLE: Pre-cut trees
27118 Queentree Rd., Mechanicsville, 301-862-1597
HOURS: Daily noon-dusk
TYPES: Douglas/Fraser/Canaan fir, Norway/blue/white spruce, Scotch/white
ALSO AVAILABLE: Wreaths
41370 Friendship Ct., Mechanicsville, 301-373-8184
HOURS: Mon.-Fri. noon-4:30 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
TYPES: Fraser/Canaan fir, Norway/blue/white spruce,
ALSO AVAILABLE: Wreaths, greenery, gift shop
Quail Field Farm
38161 New Market Turner Rd., Mechanicsville
HOURS: Sat.-Sun. 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
(call ahead on weekdays)
TYPES: Douglas/Fraser/Canaan/concolor fir, Norway spruce, white pine
ALSO AVAILABLE: Wreaths, greens
Buy Pre-Cut Trees
St. Leonard VFD
TYPES: Douglas/Fraser/Canaan fir
ALSO AVAILABLE: Wreaths, roping
Optimist Club of Lusby
Intersection of Rousby Hall Rd. and H G Trueman Rd.
Optimist Club of Prince Frederick
Rte. 4 next to Prince Frederick Safeway
TYPES: Douglas/Fraser fir
Bryans Road VFD
TYPE: Fraser fir