Whether it's the appeal of the scent of pine in the house or the tradition of traipsing through a snowy field to find the perfect fir, putting up a real Christmas tree is a must for many at this time of year.
The Erie region has numerous options for those who don't want to decorate an artificial tree.
If you just want to pick out a real tree, tie it onto the top of the car and head home, many places sell precut trees. Farms usually offer you the opportunity to venture out into nature and cut down your own tree. They might provide help with the sawing if you need it. And some sellers feature root ball trees, otherwise known as "balled and burlapped" or B&B trees, that you can plant and continue to grow after the holiday season.
Prices vary not only by location but can also be determined by the variety of tree or its size.
Hours also vary by location and it's a good idea to check before you go to make sure a farm or lot is open at that time and all the trees haven't been sold. Some lots last year were empty by at least mid-December.
Also check with individual sites for requirements, such as masks, related to COVID-19.
Here are some of the locations we found around Erie, Crawford and Warren counties:
Christmas tree sellers
A & J's Inc.: 5675 Wattsburg Road, Millcreek Township. Precut trees. Varieties include concolor fir, Fraser fir, Canaan fir, blue spruce. 814-825-7001, ajstrees.com
Al's Melons Farm Market and Greenhouse: 10304 Route 6, Conneaut Lake. Precut trees. Varieties include Fraser and Douglas fir. 814-382-3152, bit.ly/3d74nVT
Arkwright's Tree & Wreath Farm: 8662 Kinsey Road, Cranesville. Precut trees, cut-your-own trees and root ball trees. Varieties include balsam fir, Fraser fir, Douglas fir, Canaan fir, Norway spruce, blue spruce, white pine. 814-572-4464, arkwrighttreefarm.com
Berkey's Nursery: 44251 Rogers Road, Spartansburg. Precut trees. Varieties include Fraser fir, Canaan fir, concolor fir, Douglas fir. 814-654-7513, 814-694-9200, berkeysnursery.com
Gerlach's Garden & Floral Center: 3161 W. 32nd St. Precut trees and root ball trees. Varieties include Fraser fir and Douglas fir for precut; spruce for root ball. 814-838-2363, gerlachs.com/garden-center
Gifford's Tree Farm: 14317 Main St., Wattsburg. Precut trees or dug trees. Varieties include blue spruce, Norway spruce, white spruce, fir, pine. 814-722-0740, facebook.com/giffordstreefarm
Hayes Tree Farm: 11215 Springfield Road, Girard Township. Precut trees and root ball trees. Varieties include Colorado spruce, Englemann spruce, grand fir, concolor fir and Canaan fir for precut; Norway spruce, Colorado spurce, Englemann spruce and Fraser fir for root ball. 814-602-6489, bit.ly/hayestreefarm
Heaton's Tree Farm: 12270 Cole Road, North East Township. Precut trees, cut-your-own trees and root ball trees. Varieties include Fraser fir, scotch pine, white pine, blue spruce. 814-725-5091, bit.ly/heatonstrees
LGL Tree Farm: 95 Christmas Tree Lane, Pittsfield. Precut trees and cut-your-own trees. Variety is Fraser fir. 814-563-4060, lgltreefarm.com
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Love's Christmas Tree Farm: 21959 Britton Run Road, Spartansburg. Cut-your-own trees. Varieties include Fraser fir, Canaan fire, balsam fir, white fir, blue spruce, Serbian spruce. 814-564-0577, loveschristmastreefarm.com
Mason Farms: 839 Peninsula Drive and 4115 Old French Road. Precut trees and root ball trees. Varieties include Frasier fir, Douglas fir, concolor fir, blue spruce, black spruce, Scotch pine, white pine. 814-833-9933, 814-864-7276, masonfarms.com
Paul's Trees: 5144 Old French Road. Precut trees. Varieties include Fraser fir, Douglas fir, concolor fir, blue spruce. 814-866-1253, bit.ly/paulstrees
Port Farms: 2055 Stone Quarry Road, Waterford. Precut trees and cut-your-own trees. Varieties include blue spruce, Fraser fir, white pine. 814-796-4500, portfarms.com
Potratz Floral Shop & Greenhouses: 1418 Buffalo Road. Precut trees and root ball trees. Variety is Fraser fir. 814-453-5501, potratz.com
Rensma's Christmas Trees: 46164 Harger Road, Titusville. Precut trees and cut-your-own trees. Varieties include Frasier fir, Canaan fire, white pine, Englemann spruce. 814-827-7670
Rick Walker Farms: Walker Bros. Buick Chevrolet, 700 Erie St., Washington Township, for precut trees or 12525 Hamilton Road, Washington Township, for cut-your-own trees. Varieties include Fraser fir, concolor fir, blue spruce, white pine. 814-434-2582, 814-790-2282, rickwalkerfarms.com
Sanford Tree Farm: 1075 Lauger Road, Youngsville. Precut trees, cut-your-own trees and root ball trees. Varieties include Fraser fir, Canaan fir, Colorado spruce, Norway spruce, white spruce, white pine. 814-688-5961, sanfordtreefarm.com
Stan's Garden Center: 5001 Buffalo Road and 5341 West Lake Road. Precut trees at both locations and potted trees at Stan's East. Varieties include Norway spruce, Black Hills spruce, Austrian pine, white pine. 814-899-5424, 814-835-6960, facebook.com/stansgardencenter
Wesleyville Hose Co.: Denny's Service Center, 2817 Buffalo Road, Wesleyville. Precut trees. Varieties include Douglas fir, Fraser fir, balsam fir, blue spruce, white pine. 814-899-6704, bit.ly/wesleyville
Some large retailers, such as Home Depot and Lowe's, also sell real Christmas trees. Check with your local location for availability.
We know there might be other places out there that we missed. If we did, send the details – name, location, kinds of trees, contact information – to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com so we can update our list.
Tips for selecting and caring for a real Christmas tree
The National Christmas Tree Association has this advice to share:
Measure your space and your tree. Know how tall and how wide of a tree will fit inside and remember that trees tend to look smaller when they're out in a field.
Consider your ornaments. Know if you need a tree with wide open spaces for ornaments to occupy or stiffer branches for heavier ornaments.
Be prepared for the weather conditions. Dress appropriately, especially if you're going to a farm and need gloves and boots.
Have the right equipment. If you're cutting your own tree, ask if you have to bring your own saw.
Consider the tree trunk. Look for one that's straight and will fit in your stand without having to be whittled down.
Cut the trunk. Make a fresh cut straight across the bottom to remove about half an inch from the base of the trunk to help it take up water.
Water your tree. Place the tree in water as soon as possible. Temperature doesn't matter, just make sure the level of the water doesn't go below the base of the tree.
Avoid heat. Keep the tree away from fireplaces, heaters, heat vents and direct sunlight, and lower the room temperature to avoid the drying process.
Be safe. Always turn off tree lights when leaving home or going to bed.
Find more tips at realchristmastrees.org.
This article originally appeared on Erie Times-News: Find real Christmas trees in Erie region at farms or shops