Where to go, what to know


With miles of farms and snow-capped landscapes adorning the Hudson Valley, there is something like a storybook about stepping out into a field and chopping down your own Christmas tree.

No Charlie Brown trees here. Cutting down yours is also the safest bet to know that your Christmas tree is fresh and therefore will last for a while.

“You can see it in nature – you have the pleasure of strolling through an attractive landscape, getting some fresh air and exercising and knowing that you have chosen it. And you know exactly how fresh it is – it wasn’t precut a month ago in Canada, ”said Fred Likel, a fourth-generation farmer whose great-grandfather bought Pine Farm near. of Livingston Manor in 1857.

Still, like many storybooks, the way the reality compares to the ideal can be an adjustment if you’re not prepared. The task of actually cutting your own tree – while still being fulfilling – “is harder than you might think,” Morgan Battenfeld said with a laugh. The 100-acre family farm, FW Battenfeld’s, is a popular cut-your-own Christmas tree destination in Red Hook.

Tips for cutting your own tree

Be sure to wear boots when you go out to cut your own Christmas tree, even if it isn’t snowing as the fields are often muddy. And plan to get your tree earlier in the season, as some farms sell picked and cut trees on the first weekend in December.

Elizabethsalleebauer via Getty Images

Before leaving, Christmas tree farm owners shared the following insider tips:

  • Wear boots as the fields can be very muddy
  • Waterproof snow pants also help; since you have to get close to the ground to saw the tree, muddy fields can also result in muddy pants
  • Call ahead to see if farms have bow saws available, or be prepared to bring your own (see notes below)
  • Think “Silent Night” when it comes to cutting, that is: absolutely no chainsaws
  • Buy early if you can; some farms were sold on the first weekend of December last year
  • Cutting is one thing, bringing it home is another. Make sure the size of your car matches your vision of the perfect tree.

“I have a favorite recorded cartoon of two Volkswagen Beetles, one following right behind the other with a big tree on the roof of both,” Likel said with a laugh.

Don’t hesitate to ask farm owners what their Christmas tree varieties are if you don’t know what to expect. Not all are created equal.

“You have to really love Colorado blue spruce to endure the sharpness of the needles,” Likel said. “They have strong branches and needles and will wear heavy ornaments – but I always say that whoever turns on the lights will look like they’ve fought a porcupine.”

(For what it’s worth, his family typically rotates among Fraser firs, Canaan firs, and balsam firs.)

Below are several Christmas tree farms in the Hudson Valley and Catskills offering the choice and cutting experience – plus special extras to make it a complete adventure, like sledding hills, picnic or tailgate areas, tours with Santa Claus and more.

Bell Christmas Trees – Accord

U-cut trees cost $ 60 at this 30-year-old farm, while pre-cut trees are priced individually. Bell’s will shake and ball all trees and pierce those over 8 feet tall for those with “pin” tree stands. Saws are provided or bring your own. Wreaths and potted trees are also available for sale, as are other gifts, like local maple syrup and soaps, at the on-site gift shop. Santa will make an appearance on Sunday, November 28 at 1 p.m.

Open from November 26 to December 23 (or until sold out); Credit cards accepted
M, L, Th, F 9:30 am – 4:30 pm; sat – sun 8:30 am – 4:30 pm; closed on Tuesdays
647 Mettacahonts Rd, Accord, NY 12404; 845-626-7849; bellschristmastrees.com
Close: the Arrowood Farms Brewery and Restaurant; Inness dining room for a bite or a drink

FW Battenfeld’s Christmas Tree Farm – Red Hook

One hundred acres of Christmas trees, as well as a special weekend program await you. Pick and cut trees cost $ 80, plus $ 10 to rent a saw ($ 15 to buy), so consider bringing your own if you have one. There are weekend wagon rides when the weather permits; the bagpipes will play on December 4, from noon to 2 p.m., and Santa will make an appearance on the weekends of December 4 to 5 and from December 11 to 12. The on-site Christmas store sells ornaments, wreaths, and other items. Want to make it a day? The on-site Charhouse Grill will serve burgers, squash soup, kids, hot cider, and hot chocolate every weekend, as well as designated areas for tailgating if you prefer to bring your own snacks and drinks. Dogs on a leash are welcome.

Open daily from November 22 to mid-December (depending on the weather, if they are full); credit cards accepted
856 Route 199, Red Hook, NY 12571; 845-758-1880; Christmastreefarm.us
Close: Historic Village Diner, Little Pickles Children’s Store, Annabelle Village Pastry Shop

Pine Farm Christmas Tree Farm – Youngsville

A family farm since the 1800s, Pine Farm has been open on weekends until December 12 for U-cut Christmas trees. All trees are $ 9 / foot up to 10 feet tall, then $ 11 / foot for anything over 10 feet. Free saws for cutting and returning from the field on board a cart. Guests are welcome to bring sleds and picnics for a full winter day. In addition to trees, the farm sells wreaths and homemade soaps.

Open from November 26, then every Saturday and Sunday until December 12; 9:30 am – 4:00 pm; Cash only
121 Eagin Road, Youngsville, NY 12791; 607-591-5507; pinefarmchristmastrees.com
Close: Catskill and Upward Breweries, plus several other places to eat, drink and shop in Livingston Manor

Saltsman Tree Farm – Rhinebeck

The family farm located one mile east of Rhinebeck town center has been in business for over 30 years. On weekends, they’ll wrap your tree up and attach it to your car for free. Trees are 5-10 feet tall with taller trees going faster. Saws provided (disinfected between uses). Guests are encouraged to bring their own sleds and carts and to warm up during weekend campfires.

Open from November 26; Tue – Fri, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. Sat – Sun, 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. cash and local checks only
214 Route 308, Rhinebeck, NY 12572; 845-876-8801; saltsmantreefarm.com
Close: Rhinebeck town center for dining or shopping, as well as an annual Sinterklaas holiday event on December 4, 2021

Robson’s Christmas trees – Bovina

A family-owned Christmas tree farm since the 1950s, Robson’s sells picked and cut trees on weekends. Saws are available for use, or you can bring your own. Trees range between $ 35 and $ 75, and wreaths are also available. Bring your own rope to tie the tree to your car.

Open from November 26 until Christmas, or until they are sold out (Note: last year they sold out on December 5th, so plan ahead); Fri – Sun, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. call to make arrangements on other days; cash or local checks only
2425 Jim Lane Rd., Bovina Center, NY 13740; 607-832-4306 facebook.com/Robsons-Christmas-Trees
Close: Russell General Store, plus the Brushland catering house

Fabulous Firs Christmas Tree Farm – Poughkeepsie

This 65-acre fourth-generation farm specializes in four varieties of U-cut and pre-cut fir trees (Fraser, Concolor, Canaan, Balsam). Trees up to 10 feet tall cost $ 74; those between 10 and 12 feet are $ 95; and trees between 12 and 14 feet cost $ 150. Staff will help cut larger trees for safety, as well as baling and tying any purchased trees to your car. Hand saws available, or you can bring your own. Dogs on a lead accepted.

Open from November 20 every day: Monday to Friday, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sat – Sun (and Nov 26), 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Cash only
683 Van Wagner Rd., Poughkeepsie, NY 12601; 845-635-3206; vanscottfarms.com
Close: Plan Bee Brewery

Abel trees – Verbank

Selected and cut trees feed the 25 acres of the farm, at a cost of $ 75 each; crowns and transplant trees are also available for sale. Erin Abel sells homemade baked goods every weekend, from gingerbread cookies to peanut butter bars and whoopies. Tailgating is allowed in the field with prior notice, and the farm also offers wagon rides and free hot chocolate. Dogs on a lead accepted. Free baling and assistance to attach to the car.

Open from November 26 and every weekend thereafter until Christmas; Sat – Sun, 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. weekdays by appointment only; cash or local check only
435 North Clove Rd., Verbank, NY 12585; 845-677-6395; abelstrees.com
Close: Short drive to 82 BBQ, restaurants and shopping in Millbrook

Hahn Farm – Salt Point

The seventh and eighth generation family farm from the 1700s sells pre-cut and U-cut trees. Rides are available on the grounds to chop your tree, as well as free hot drinks around the campfire on weekends. U-cut trees cost $ 54, while pre-cut trees vary in size. Saws provided for cutting trees, as well as baling and helping to secure the tree to your car. The on-site farm store is open on weekends and sells a range of meats, produce and baked goods, as well as wreaths and other holiday items.

Open daily from November 26 to December 21; L – Thu 12 p.m. – 4.30 p.m. Fri 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. Sat – Sun 9:30 am – 4:30 pm; credit cards accepted at the farm store
1697 Salt Point Turnpike (Rte 115), Salt Point, NY 12578; 845-266-3680; hahnfarm.com
Close: Short drive from Historic Vanderbilt Mansion and Springwood, the home of Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Rawls Christmas Tree Farm – Pleasant Valley

This premium and cutting farm offers varieties of Fraser Fir and Canaan Fir, up to 18 feet tall. Staff will bale trees and provide rope, as well as help tie purchased trees to your car. Bow saws are provided and dogs on a leash are welcome. Tailgating is allowed, but alcohol is not, in order to maintain a family atmosphere.

Open from November 22 and every weekend until December while stocks last; 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. by appointment during the week; local cash and checks
47 Rawls Road, Pleasant Valley, NY 12569; 845-590-3337 rawlschristmastrees.com
Close: Snowshoeing, hiking and mountain biking at Taconic Hereford multipurpose area

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