Web Extra: Christmas Tree Farms: A Texas Sampler
From the Piney Woods to the Plains, Texas farmers produce an array of choose-and-cut Christmas trees to make that special time of year a bit more festive.
In the southeast Texas town of Magnolia at the Red Caboose Christmas Tree Farm, four generations work together at each holiday season. Visitors can choose from a variety of trees such as Virginia Pine, Leyland Cypress, or Blue Ice (a cultivar of Arizona Cypress). If cutting down your own tree works up an appetite, barbeque is available for purchase. Or, bring a picnic lunch and eat on a wooden table beside a scenic lake. Hayrides take everyone to and from the field, and a mini-train takes kids on rides around the farm. Call 281/259-9776.
Haynie’s Green Acres Christmas Tree Farm in Crowley offers families a full slate of events with each visit. Enjoy a ride on an antique tractor to and from the field, as well as complimentary coffee and hot cider. Each child receives a candy cane and coloring book as special treats. And if holiday lights aren’t enough to brighten up your tree, the staff can give you a white Christmas with a twist. Snow-covered (flocked) trees can be found in purple, blue, and hunter green. Call 817/297-3970.
The Watson Christmas Tree Farm in Tyler offers Virginia Pines, flocked trees, and a gift shop full of holiday decor. Watson’s also has tree-care products available, such as a handcrafted tree stand and a mix to keep the tree fresh. When visitors find the perfect tree, Watson’s staff uses a mechanical tree-shaker to remove any brown needles from the tree and ready it for decorating. During the day, children can take wagon rides, and special evening rides can be scheduled for private events. Call 903/566-1282.
The Ivanhoe Christmas Tree Farm in northeast Texas, just three miles north of Ivanhoe and one hour from Dallas, turns picking out a tree into a day of fun. Throughout the season, the Ivanhoe farm offers live music ranging from bluegrass to traditional Christmas carols. In addition, local vendors come out to sell handmade goods such as soap, jellies, and Christmas ornaments. Take advantage of the fire pits by roasting hot dogs and sipping apple cider, the perfect combination to warm you up after a full day of tree-hunting. Call 903/583-5460.
Cut-your-own-tree farms can be found even in West Texas. Celebrating its fifth year of business, the Concho Christmas Tree Farm in Christoval offers a little something different for the holidays. Kids can pet alpacas and llamas at the farm’s petting zoo, roast s’mores over a fire, and learn all about planting and growing the different trees sold here. In addition to trees, fresh, handmade wreaths are popular items. Call 325/896-7575.
To find out about other choose-and-cut Christmas tree farms in Texas, visit www.texaschristmastrees.com.
From the June 2012 issue.