As you choose a location to find your tree, the website www.pickyourownchristmastree.org is a great resource for those in the L.A. area who need advice, not only on where to buy, but on how to select the best tree, how to care for it in your home, and how to recycle and dispose of it once the season is over. Most farms offer manual saws, twine and other binding materials for visitors to use upon purchase of a tree, or visitors may choose to bring their own. As a general rule, gas-powered chainsaws are not allowed.
Christmas Ranch Tree Farms
1586 Pederson Road
Thousand Oaks, CA
For more than 40 years, this 15-acre family farm has been delighting homes with its pines, cedars, cypress and redwoods throughout the valley. Delicately preserved pre-cut firs are also available. This farm is fun for the young and old alike with warm beverages, seasonal candies and even vintage Jeep rides around the premises. Local teens who are interested in seasonal work may do well to inquire with the owner, one of whom is a former high school teacher known to welcome help from eager hands with planting once the season ends.
Chamberlain Choose and Cut
3436 Padua Ave.
Claremont, CA 91711
The historically beautiful landscape in the Claremont area makes it natural ground for traditional pine and cypress trees. This family farm offers healthy, well-aged holiday trees that reach more than 11 feet. Reservations can be made on individual trees, but visitors come from far and wide annually to cut their own. If you do not have tree-cutting equipment, Chamberlain provides saws without extra charge.
9000 Irvine Center Drive
Irvine, CA 92618
The Peltzers have been farming trees in Orange County since the days before Disneyland became the region’s main attraction. Its three locations (Irvine, Silverado and Brea) provide dozens of acres of pine to choose from with some of the best trees around. Each year, these farms donate more than 1,000 trees to military families on bases throughout Southern California.
Casazza Christmas Tree Farm
6231 East Ave., Etiwanda
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91739
This cash-only farm promises to pay the sales tax on every tree while still managing to promote a $5 online coupon. Maps and brochures about the farm are available upon request, which is convenient for those who’d like to reserve a tree. Free garland and boughs are also available with the purchase of a tree. Leave the pups at home for this visit as they’re not allowed on this farm.
Richfield Pines Christmas Tree Farm
5392 Richfield Road
farm 10 With acres of live, fresh, fragrant Monterrey Pines, Richfield Pines sells trees up to 26 feet tall and is the place to go in Orange County for live, fresh and fragrant Christmas Trees. Trees can be reserved by calling in advance, or you can pick out your tree early and ask to have it cut at a later date when you are ready for it. This family-friendly farm is best experienced with children in tow, as candy canes are happily offered. Homemakers always enjoy the bonus of free boughs and other fresh green trim with the purchase of a tree.
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Danielle Farve is a freelance writer covering all things Los Angeles. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.