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Old Dec 4th, 2006, 05:49 PM   #1
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Christmas Tree Farms in Ontario - Recommendations

Hi,

It's been a family tradition of ours for the last 12 years or so to venture forth out of Toronto to a Cut Your Own Xmas Tree Farm to bring home the family tree.

I was hoping that some of you could share with me your recommendations for the farms that you have found to be enjoyable.

In the past we have been to Taylor and Drysden. We stopped going to Taylor some time ago as the tree selection seemed to be getting sparse and we are thinking of giving up Drysden as my teenage daughters claim it is to commercial.

I am open to any suggestions that are within a 1 hour drive or so out of Toronto. Ideally we would like something with a wagon ride (real horses!), a bon fire and some food choices. A gift shop is optional. A farm with a good selection of Douglas Fir would be ideal!

Thanks.
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Old Dec 4th, 2006, 06:10 PM   #2
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I have many found memories from when my grandparents and I would go and cut down a tree...

Horton Tree Farms rings a bell, but thats the only one I can think of off the top of my head. I seem to recall free hot chocolate, but don't quote me on that.. it was at least 6 years ago.
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Old Dec 4th, 2006, 06:40 PM   #3
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Always seems a shame to kill a live tree,
I figure a few cut boughs does the job and smells nice around the house.

Here's perhaps a good idea.....

Quote:
Live Christmas tree rentals woo environmentalists
Last Updated: Friday, December 24, 2004 | 8:04 AM ET
CBC News
U.S. environmentalists who love the trappings of Christmas but cringe at the thought of cutting down a tree now have another option an Oregon company that rents out living evergreens and then replants them after the holidays.
The Original Living Christmas Tree Company has rented out more than 400 trees this Christmas season, starting at $55 US for a two-metre Douglas fir.

The company's founder, John Fogel, and his crew take the plants out of the ground, roots and all, put them into pots and deliver them to people in the Portland area.

After New Year's Day, they return to pick up the trees, which they deliver to parks, schools and other groups that pay about $10 to have them planted on their property.

"My market happens to be people that feel guilty about cutting trees," Fogel, who has offered the service since 1991, told the Associated Press news agency. "But this also happens to be a convenient alternative."

Staff at the National Christmas Tree Association say they don't know of any other rent-a-tree business in the United States.

Business experts said the $791-million US Christmas tree industry should take note, because it has struggled as synthetic trees increase in popularity.
http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2004/1...ee-041224.html
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Old Dec 4th, 2006, 06:50 PM   #4
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Continuing the threadjack... Ikea has extremely decent trees for $20 and donates a seedling to be planted in its place. You also receive a $20 off $75 coupon, so if you're planning to return during a certain period to shop there anyways, the tree becomes a really good deal.

Each store has something like this:

Quote:
Christmas trees
Buy a Christmas tree and receive a $20 coupon!
Beginning November 24, 2006 purchase your Christmas tree at IKEA for only $20 and receive a coupon for

$20 off an IKEA purchase of $75 or more (coupons redeemable January 2 March 1, 2007, while supplies last.).

For every tree sold, IKEA will donate a seedling to the Tree Canada Foundation.
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Old Dec 5th, 2006, 10:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacDoc
Always seems a shame to kill a live tree,
I figure a few cut boughs does the job and smells nice around the house.

Here's perhaps a good idea.....



http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2004/1...ee-041224.html
Although I agree that this is a good idea, I do not see the shame in harvesting evergreen trees as holiday ornaments.

These are farmers who just like regular (food) farmers re-plant their harvest. This is not clear cutting. Does this not help the local (farming) economy? Doesn't a field of trees help the environment? Is there shame in harvesting pumpkins for Halloween? Maybe I am missing something?

Anyway, does anyone out there cut there own tree around the GTA or am I just a tree sadist?
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Old Dec 5th, 2006, 11:32 AM   #6
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I cut down my own live tree from time to time, though it isn't a tradition. I've been here:

http://www.hockleyvalley.on.ca/christmastrees.htm

and the experience was rustic and fine, but you'll note that there's a premium attached to doing the work yourself. The trees are at least 50% more expensive than the Ikea trees.
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Old Dec 5th, 2006, 01:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramboman
Anyway, does anyone out there cut there own tree around the GTA or am I just a tree sadist?
Ramboman, can't vouch for GTA area tree farms, but you pack up your spice & yer chillens, fire up the family truckster and go get one and enjoy the hell out of it.

This ain't clear cutting, these trees are grown specifically for this purpose, yes it helps the economy and your family will remember it fondly as something that you all got to do together-something that I'm sure most of us should do more of.

Bring along a thermos of hot chocolate & a blanket or two and make an afternoon of it.

Don't forget the old Brownie, you'll need a photo or two.
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Old Dec 5th, 2006, 01:37 PM   #8
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Those trees are there sucking up carbon dioxide while they're growing as well! Later, they'll be used as mulch to help other trees grow. This is a beautiful system!
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Old Dec 5th, 2006, 06:04 PM   #9
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Rental of a live tree also helps the farmer with income while not shortening the cycle and the dead trees release CO2.

Cool would be renting a live tree and part of the rental plants a dozen.
It all helps.

Cooler yet would be a small portion going to rain forest protection ....those are the real "lungs".

Surely a good part of a celebration and a feel good gesture for this time of year.

Now if that cut tree went to high efficiency co-generation......then no problem - but we're not there yet.

The wagon ride and cider is cool as a family outing - I like hitting the maple syrup event for the same reason.
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Old Dec 5th, 2006, 07:16 PM   #10
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I like the live Christmas Tree route, and tried it once, but it was virtually impossible to keep it alive without a transplant. I wonder whether more temperate parts of Canada could manage this?

My uncle was a professional arborist/city planner and he used to "cull" the herd, bringing home the sickest, most pathetic looking tree you could imagine each year,
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