Most American households, 48 percent, erect artificial trees during the Christmas holiday, according to Christmas Tree Facts from the University of Illinois Extension. But for the 21 percent who prefer a real tree, there’s nothing better than taking a drive to Christmas tree farm to cut down the perfect one. (In case you are wondering about the rest of the respondents, 32 percent said they do not have a tree at all.)
For those who aren’t convinced that real is better, consider the environmental benefits. Artificial trees will last for six years in your home, but for centuries in a landfill, according to the university’s Christmas Tree Facts web page.
“Many people still perceive cutting trees down as bad for the environment and that is not the case. Real Christmas trees no longer come from the forest. They are grown on farms throughout North America,” said Mel Koelling, forestry professor at Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich., in an article on the Illinois Christmas Tree Association website.
Real trees are renewable and recyclable, and buying from an area farm helps keep that farmer in business.
Fresh-cut trees are available in a variety of prices, depending on the farm, the variety and the size. It’s best to call the farm for details on prices.
Following are some farms nearby:
Where: 1500 83rd St., Downers Grove
Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday- Sunday. Trees for sale include white pine and various types of spruce. Tree hauler wagons, saws and twine are provided and restrooms are available.
Where: IN318 Watson Rd., Maple Park
Phone: (815) 827-5200
Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. Scotch pine, douglas fir and fraser fir are for sale, as well as wreaths, roping, greens and decorations. The Orchard Shop & Bakery sells gift items, gourmet foods, cider, doughnuts, pies, fudge and more.
Where: 45W002 Lees Rd., Lily Lake
Hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 18. The farm has scotch pine, white pine, douglas fir, canaan fir, balsam fir, fraser fir and Norway spruce, and wreaths, roping, greens and decorations. Saws are provided and restrooms are available. Free refreshments and shaking, baling and loading services are offered.
Where: 42W109 McDonald Road, Elgin
Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Dec. 4. The farm may be open until Dec. 10, if it doesn’t sell out. It offers a wide variety of trees including balsam fir, concolor fir, white pine, white spruce and Black Hills spruce. The farm also has wreaths, garlands and a gift shop.