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Getting your holiday tree from a tree farm not only
can become an anticipated family tradition, it gives you an excuse
to give your family and your camera a little exercise and fresh
air. If you're planning on trekking to a tree farm this year, here
are a few things you should know before you head out:
Bundle up! No one needs to be told Chicago winters can be
brutal, but Jim Keller of Cupola House Tree Farms let us know it
tends to be even colder and windier out in the country. Boots and
clothes you don't mind getting a little dirty are a safe bet for
snowy and muddy situations. Our advice? Overdress. You can always
peel back the layers if the weather is kinder than
Know your home measurements. Make sure you know how high
your ceiling is before you leave. You don't want to bring a tree
all the way home only to realize it's too tall. "It's surprising
how many people come out and they have an 8-foot ceiling and they
cut a 14-foot tree," says Charles Ide of Ide Christmas Tree
The more the merrier. While bringing an additional person
definitely means more merriment, it also means an easier time
chopping down your tree. Most tree farms provide saws, but they
won't provide extra hands to help. Both of our expert tree farmers
suggest two physically capable people as opposed to just one when
it comes to sawing the tree. An extra person pushing the tree in
the direction of the fall while you cut means you won't be
completely exhausted. Don't forget you still have to get that tree
Once you get home, put the tree in room temperature water
right away. While the recommended time on how long the tree can go
without water differs from farmer to farmer, if the bottom of the
tree has sapped over before you get it in water, cut about a half
inch from the bottom. Once you've got the tree in some water, keep
the tree away from direct lighting, fireplaces, heat registers and
other heat and light sources.
Make it a day trip. If you're looking for a way to get
your sedentary family to be a little more active, a trip to a tree
farm is the perfect outing. Nowadays, there's a lot more to do at
tree farms than chopping down a tree and dragging it home. Cupola
House Tree Farms offers hay rides and a warming fire, for instance.
The acres upon acres at tree farms are perfect for hide-and-seek or
other winter wonderland shenanigans. Food, drink and camera and
you're all set for a fun-filled day the family's going to look
forward to every year.
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