How to Pick a Christmas Tree in Kentucky

Welcome to Cissell’s Christmas Tree Farm. We are a New Christmas tree farm in  Springfield Kentucky.  Christmas is a very special time and only lasts for a short amount of time.  I have put together a little guide to help everyone in Kentucky  select a great Christmas tree.

I have included tips on how to pick one, the different types of real Christmas trees available, tips for measuring, and help you make sure it lasts the Holiday season.

How to Pick a Christmas Tree in Kentucky

It’s no secret, the only way to ensure you get the freshest and healthiest tree is to go to  a Christmas Tree Farm and get your tree.  A Christmas tree farm grows and sells trees specifically to retain needles and last through the Christmas season.

Avoid Big Box Stores where Most Christmas trees are cut about 3 to 4 weeks before they arrive on the lot—usually the weekend after Thanksgiving, according to National Christmas Tree Association.

Some Christmas Tree Farms will also bring in “Pre Cut” tree’s to supplement their inventory or to bring in some species they know customers want but cant grow on their farm.   This is a far better Choice than buying form a Big box store.  These Farm “Pre Cut” trees are usually less than 1 week old and in most cases on black Friday shipping only 3-5 days old.  These Farms will either go cut these tree’s from there other properties or buy these from larger farms who wholesale tree’s.  They will bring them to their farm and Place in Water Tubs so they maintain freshness.  (Have you ever see a Tree in water at a Box Box Store?)

Once you are at the Farm Picking the right tree is like buying fruit, you need to see it, touch it, and smell it.

  1. Test the branches.  Clamp down your hand on a limb and gently comb your hands on it pulls toward yourself.  If you end up with a handful of needles that tree is past it prime, It will be dead in less than a week loosing most of it needles in 7-10 days. (Avoid tree’s like these)
  2. Crush the needles in a hand.  The smell should be bold and fresh.  If there is very little smell this tree is not very fresh.  It as well has less than 2 week before surface needles  start to fall out.) 
  3. Bounce the tree on the ground. If the exterior (Green) needles fall off, it’s sure sign of a bad apple. Needles that fall off from the interior of the tree (Brown) are normal. All Conifer tree’s have brown interior needles near the trunk that will fall out
  4. Diameter of Trunk Make a sure the tree’s trunk will fit in your tree stand. Cutting or trimming the trunk by cutting away the outer bark will strip the tree of its cambium layer, which is what absorbs water. If this happens your tree will die at a much faster rate, typically 7 days.  it will even stop taking water.

5 Types of Christmas Trees in Central Kentucky

1. Canaan Fir

Canaan Fir Christmas tree Springfield Kentucky 40069

Canaan Fir are native to higher mountains within Virginia and West Virginia.  Canaan Firs are a very beautiful tree essentially a cross between a Douglas Fir and Fraser Fir, sometimes leading to confusion.  Canaan Firs vary in color from a light green to a dark green based on a variety of factors including moisture content, sunlight, and soil type.  They have moderately strong branches and short, very soft needles approximately 0.5 to 1 inch. 

Why Pick a Canaan Fir Christmas Tree:

  • Shape: A thin, spire-like top (perfect for a star or an angel) sets this pyramid-shaped tree apart.
  • Needles: Short, long-lasting dark  needles are 0.5 to 1 inches long and tend to be flat or blunt at the tip.
  • Scent: Its Mild evergreen scent can easily fill a room.
  • Trimmings: Dense limbs can hold weighty ornaments and larger globe or C-bulb lights.

2. Fraser Fir

frasier fir christmas tree kentucky

Fraser fir. “It’s sort of a cousin to the balsam fir—very attractive needles,  bluish silver underside found on the branches of this species. Frasers also have good needle retention. A Fraser’s needles are typically 3/4 of an inch long with a shiny dark green top and silvery bottom.

Why Pick a Fraser Fir Christmas Tree:

  • Shape: The branches turn slightly upward, giving it a full, compact appearance.
  • Needles: Short dark green needles have a silvery underside and are ½ to 1 inch long; resists shedding.
  • Scent: Its fresh, mild fragrance is subtler than the balsam’s.
  • Trimmings: Thick branches will hold most decorations; it’s easy to reach interior branches, so cords are less visible.

3. Nordmann Fir

Nordman needles on Christmas tree in Springfield KY

Nordman fir  is a European favorite that was recently introduced into the U.S. market and has become increasingly popular. This tree boasts a deep, rich color, dense foliage with rounded needles, and a pleasantly light fragrance.

Why Pick a Nordmann Fir Christmas Tree:

  • Shape: The branches and foliage of the give the appearance of a very full, vibrant
  • Needles: The needles are especially unique as they appear as a glossy dark green on the upper side, but reveal a silvery underside.
  • Scent:is a hit with consumers with allergies given the light fragrance.
  • Trimmings: Thick branches will hold most decorations; Very durable, able to hold up heavy ornaments

4. Black Hills Spruce

black hills spruce brances springfield kentucky

The Black Hill Spruce is my favorite spruce. BHS have needles that are shorter and softer than Colorado blue spruce. Black hills spruce have excellent color and have a very traditional Christmas tree appearance. Branches are stiff and hold up well to ornaments.

Why Pick a Black Hills Spruce Christmas Tree:

  • Shape: Symmetrical, Dense and conical in shape
  • Needles: Needles are stiff but not sharp unlike the Colorado Spruce. 1/2-3/4 inches in length
  • Scent: Light aroma, Does not share same smell like White Spruce.
  • Trimmings: Holds most ornaments; stiff branch that is great for holding heavy ornaments. 

5. Virginia Pine

virginai pine christmas tree springfiled ky

Virginia pine, with its straight trunk and a classic pine scent. However, Virginia pine, has a lot of pitch, the natural resin that makes the branches and trunk sticky. The classic pine scent of the Virginia makes it a popular choice inside the house, and they respond well to trimming making them a good choice for landscape.

 

 

 
 

6. White Pine

White_Pine_Christmas tree Springfield kentucky 40069

White pine Grows well in Most area’s.  One of the most popular Christmas trees, and with soft needles could be safer around small children.

Why Pick a White Pine Christmas Tree:

  • Shape: Elegantly conical; needles are grouped in clusters, so you’ll see more trunk.
  • Needles: Long, flexible needles (2½ to 5 inches long) are gentle enough for delicate skin.
  • Scent: Minimal fragrance makes it a good choice for sensitive noses.
  • Trimmings: More of a tinsel-and-lights tree; soft needles can cause ornaments to slip.

Christmas Tree Care

Now that you have picked your Christmas tree (Hopefully from a Kentucky Christmas tree Farm) Its time to ensure it stays Fresh and very much alive through decorations and for weeks to come.

 

1. Measure your Space before going to the farm

Before heading to the farm, ensure you measure the height of the ceiling where your tree will go. Remember to to leave 12-18 inches for the tree stand and the Top ornament to fit. Also measure the space the tree fil fit. some tree’s are a lot wider than others make sure you have room from front of tree to the wall. You don’t want to have to smash one end to make it fit.

 

 

 

2. Get a Fresh Cut Christmas Tree

cut your own christmas tree kentucky

If you get cut your own tree at a Local Kentucky Christmas tree Farm you are way ahead of everyone else.  But if you Bought a precut at the farm you are still doing really well.  When you get the tree home you will need to cut the bottom 1/2 inch off.   This Fresh Cut can be made with any saw you have handy.   This fresh cut is crucial in the survivability of your tree for the entire holiday season.  The new Cut will allow the tree to drink all the water it needs to stay fresh. The end of a tree “Seals” itself up after about 60 minutes. without a cut will not drink water like it should if at all.  A fresh cut tree will drink up to a gallon of water per day, some larger trees will drink 2 gallons.  This will reduce after first week.

3. Wrap Up Your Christmas Tree Properly

Before laoding your tree onto your vehicle it is very important you wrap it up properly and Put it on the roof in the correct position.  Always secure to roof with trunk facing forward.  If the farm has a shaker have it shaked to get rid of all those dead interior needles.  If not shaker just bounce on the ground several time to get rid of them. wrap the tree from bottom to top pushing up branches to secure it without causing damage.

 

4. Put Christmas Tree in a Stand

There are alot of Real Christmas tree stands out there.  The Tree Genie XXL Christmas Tree Stand is by far my favorite.   It is big enough to hold alot of water, it is really easy to place your tree in the stand and just pump the handle to tighten it in.  I promise the extra cost will save you a lot of time and frustrations.  No matte what stand you get make sure it holds at least 1 gallon of water. this XXL one here hold 2.

5. Add A Lot of Clean Water

Add a lot of water and keep the tree topped up.  the first 72 hours your tree may drink a gallon of water per day!.    Do not let the water level drop below the bottom of the tree trunk of it will develop pitch and will seal itself and stop soaking up water.   If you do you will need to take it out of your stand and cut another 1/2″ off. Of you run the risk of your tree dying prematurely and loosing much more needles.

 

 

6. Dispose of Your Tree Responsibly

christmas tree recycle springfield kentucky 40069

Once the holidays are over, its time to get rid of your Christmas tree.   You can Bring this tree to Cissell Christmas tree farm in Springfield, KY.  We will take any Christmas tree that is dropped off, as we will recycle this tree.  We will also give you $5  Coupon off your Purchase next year.   Just leave your tree by our Old Black Bard (Looks like its about to fall down)  If you don’t choose to recycle with us please find a place to recycle.  Merry Christmas! 

Beginner’s Guide to Christmas Tree Farming

Beginners Guide

Resources

Lessons Learned

Christmas Tree Farm Kentucky Logo

Thanks for Stopping in to check out our resource.   We are starting a new Christmas tree farm here in Springfield Kentucky.  Our goal is to build this guide as we go.  We Had some existing knowledge about tree farms, but we are leaning ALOT as it pertains to Christmas tree Farms.  This Guide is a Work in Progress.  This page will eventually House all the links to all of the pages and Resources for Prospective or New Christmas tree Famers.    Please Come back to check on the Progress.  

For  questions  Idea’s and Contribution please email cisselltreefarm@gmail.com   —–A Co-Author is Welcome, please let me know!

At a High level There will be chapters covering:  

1. General Pro’s and Cons for Those considering. 

2. Land  Requirements and Site Selection, 

3. Farm layout, 

4. Soil Preparation and Amendments, 

5. Cover Crops,  

6. Species Selection,  

7. Seedling and Transplants Stock

8. Field Prep For Planting, 

9. Irrigation  

10. Field Maintenance and upkeep

11. Harvest Planning

12. Small Business marketing considerations

13. Sales and Sales Site Prep

14. Associations 

15. Recommended Reading and Valuable Resources.

 

7. Seedling and Transplants Stock

If you are Starting a New Christmas Tree Farm the below offer seedlings and Transplant offerings. I was Sent a List From a Local Tree Farm, Which I have only really added a couple entries ( Feedback welcome)  But I believe it original List was compiled by Woods Tree Farm in Virginia.

 

Company NameLocationWebsite
Alpha Nurseries, IncHolland, MIhttp://www.alphanurseries.com/
Asack & SonBarton, VThttp://www.billasack.com/
Aucker’s NurseryWilliston, FLhttps://auckersnursery.com/
Berkey’s NurserySpartansburg, PAhttp://www.berkeysnursery.com/welcome.html
Bosch’s Countryview NurseryAllendale, MIhttps://boschsnursery.com/
Brooks Tree FarmBrooks, ORhttps://brookstreefarm.com/
Byron Lakeview NurseryByron, GAhttp://www.byronlakeviewnursery.com/
Canaan Fir Tree CompanyGranville, OHhttps://www.canaanfir.com/
Chief River NurseryGrafton, WIhttps://chiefrivernursery.com/
Drakes Crossing NurserySilverton, ORhttps://www.drakescrossingnursery.com/
Downey NurseryHatley, QC (Canada)https://www.downeytreefarm.com/
Flickinger’s NurserySagamore, PAwww.flicknursery.com
Franke FarmsMarion, NYhttp://www.frankefarms.com/index.html
Grant FarmsGrant, LAhttps://grantchristmastreefarm.com/
Hensler NurseryHamlet, INhttp://www.henslernurseryindiana.com/
Itasca GreenhouseItasca, MNhttp://www.itascagreenhouse.com/
Kathy Shore NurserySparta, NChttp://www.kathyshorenursery.com/seedlings-and-transplants.php
Meadowview Tree Farm, Nursery, LLCNaples, NYhttps://www.meadowviewtreefarm.com/
Musser Forests, IncIndiana, PAhttps://www.musserforests.com/
Needlefast EvergreensLudington, MIhttps://www.needlefastevergreens.com/
New Life NurseryHolland, MIhttps://www.newlifenursery.com/
Newell’s Evergreen NurseryLake City, MIhttp://www.newellsevergreennursery.com/
Northern Minnesota NurseryFloodwood, MNhttp://www.northernminnnursery.com/
Northern PinesLake City, MIhttps://northernpinesnursery.com/
Peterson’s Riverview NurseryAllegan, MIhttp://www.petersons-riverview.com/
Pikes Peak NurseryPenn Run, PAhttps://www.pikespeaknurseries.net/
Porcupine HollowCentral Lake, MIhttps://www.porkyfarm.com/
Red RockChelsea, VTwww.christmastrees.net/
Reliable Source Seeds & TransplantsFairchance, PAhttp://www.jimrockis.com/
Swanson’s Evergreen NurseryNiagara, WIhttp://swansonevergreen.com/
Tennessee WholesaleAltamont Tennesseehttps://www.tennesseewholesalenursery.com/
Tree Haven Evergreen NurseryElma Center, NYn/a
Van’s Pines NurseryWest Olive, MIhttps://www.vanspinesnursery.com/
Wahmoff Farms NurseryGobles, MIhttps://mitrees.com/
Weir Tree FarmsColebrook, NHhttps://www.weirtreefarms.com/planting_stock.php

15. Recommended Reading and Valuable Resources.

We Have Started a Podcast, It will feature an Episode for each of our Guide’s New Christmas Tree Farmers Sections.

Reasons to Buy a Real Christmas Tree

Reasons to Buy a Real Christmas Tree in Kentucky

All the Reasons You need!

Buy Local

Buying from Kentucky Christmas Tree Farms Supports your Local Community and American Businesses, Most artificial trees in the US (about 85% of them) come from China. On the other hand, buying a real Christmas tree supporters American tree farms and as a result American families. Please Buy a Real Christmas Tree

New Family Tradition

Every year right after Thanksgiving, my family and I head out to pick the “Perfect Tree”.  That is definitely one of our main traditions.  Our needs have changed over the years.  We used to need a 6 Ft, then it was a 7ft,  Now we are looking for 9Ft tree’s.   The kids have the responsibility of finding it, and We cut it down Together.   We get it home and We spend the whole afternoon Decorating it.

They Smell Good

There is no replacement for the smell of a fresh Cut tree.  If you have ever cut your our Christmas tree then you know what I’m saying. The scent of the perfect tree just fills your home and is the prefect signal for all that the Christmas season has begun.  You definitely cant get that in aisle 12 of you local big box.

Environment

After being discarded, fake Christmas trees can stay in the landfill indefinitely. Living trees on the latter, can be recycled back just like crops can. Now that’s something to think about.

Teaches Kids

A lot of Children have never visited a farm or know how trees are grown or harvested.  then they won’t know where  It is the Same as eating Farm Fresh Vegetables and Fruits. How is a Child suppose to know the difference if they have never seen the real thing.  Buy a real; fresh Christmas tree one time and it’s something that your entire family will want to do year after year!

Longer Lasting

Farm Fresh Christmas trees last way longer than there Big Box store cousins.  A real Tree you might buy at parking lot of a Store was cut weeks ahead of time.   Only a Tree Farm has the Fresh Trees.

Family Choose real Christmas tree Kentucky
Family Picking real Christmas tree in Spring Field Kentucky