Where To Get Your Local Christmas Tree
Picking out the perfect tree (aka “Chanukah bush”) is of the utmost importance. Here are a couple tips to make sure yours is the best. First, if there are a lot of needles on the ground around the tree, pick another one. To make sure a tree is fresh, grab a branch and pull your hand towards you along the branch. The needles should not fall off. And remember, the trees in the field look small when the sky is the ceiling, so measure.
Dart’s Christmas Tree Farm is a three-generation historic family farm in Southold. This year, Dart’s features premium pre-cut Fraser fir and Concolor fir in their Magic Forest area. Following successive years of heavy harvesting, Dart’s will not be offering cut-your-own trees in their fields this year. 2355 Main Bayview Road, Southold. 631-765-4148, dartschristmastreefarm.com
Finks Country Farm in Wading River offers a large variety of Douglas, Fraser, Concolor and Noble Fir trees. You won’t only find trees there, though. On December weekends, Fink’s will feature a kiddie train ride, pony rides and other live animals, hot cider, holiday music, visits by Santa Claus and more. 6242 Middle Country Road, Wading River. 631-886-2272, finksfarm.com.
You can cut your own trees at Lewin’s Christmas Tree Farm. Get there early as it takes longer than one might think to cut down a tree. Trees at Lewin’s range from 1 to 15 feet and include Douglas fir, Blue Spruce, Norway Spruce and White Pine. 812 Sound Avenue, Wading River. 631-929-4327, lewinfarm.com
Santa’s Christmas Tree Farm is open April–January for all of your tree needs, on more than 23 acres with Douglas and Concolor Fir and Blue Spruce trees, all of which are sprayed for insects and diseases and are sheared annually to encourage a pleasing shape and density. They provide the saws, all you have to do is pick out your tree and cut it down. 30105 Main Road, Cutchogue. 631-734-8569, santaschristmastreefarm.com
Family owned and operated since 1987, Shamrock Christmas Tree Farm grows some of the most beautiful trees in the area. Grab the family and pick out a Douglas or Fraser Fir, or even a potted tree, balled tree or Charlie Brown Tree. 20685 Main Road, Mattituck. 631-298-4619, shamrockchristmastreefarm.com
Zuhoski Farms is operating two farms. On the corner of Bridge Lane and Route 48 in Cutchogue, they’ll be selling pre-cut Fraser and Douglas Firs. At 11825 Oregon Road, also in Cutchogue, on weekends only, you pick your favorite tree and they’ll cut it down. 631-734-5036, zuhoskifarms.com
Care And Keeping Of Your Tree
Now that you’ve gotten your tree home, get your saw out and trim about a half-inch off the bottom of the trunk, perpendicular to the stem axis, before setting in the tree stand. Water it. When trees are cut, they automatically ooze pitch, clogging up the pores. Cutting the bottom opens those pores back up and allows for better water absorption. Note: Drilling a hole in the base of the trunk does NOT improve water intake.
Make sure to keep the tree stand full of water—a fresh-cut tree can consume one gallon of water in a 24-hour period! As a general rule, provide one quart of water for every inch of stem diameter.
Use a properly sized tree stand. The tree’s outermost layers of wood take in water most efficiently, so you want to keep those intact.
You could even pack your tree stand with soil and “plant the tree.” If you do this, keep the soil wet.
Adding corn syrup, sugar or other additives to the water in the tree base is not proven to work. But if you have a secret family recipe, by all means go ahead.
Keep the tree away from all heat sources such as fireplaces, heat vents and direct sunlight. Also, use lights that produce only a small amount of heat. For the freshest trees, consider placing a humidifier in the same room. Note that dried out trees are a fire hazard. It takes only a second for a dried out tree to become engulfed in flames.
You don’t have to keep your home at snow-ready temperatures, but the colder the better for your Christmas tree. These trees thrive in cold-weather winter temperatures, after all.
The healthier you keep your tree, the less of a problem you’ll have with messy needle loss.
How To Properly Dispose Of Your Christmas Tree
Once Christmas is over and you want to get your piney friend out of the house, how do you do it?
In the town of Southampton, residents can take up to three trees to one of three transfer stations free of charge from January 1–31. The North Sea Center is located at 1370 Majors Path and is open seven days a week, 8 a.m.–4 p.m.
The Hampton Bays Center at 30 Jackson Avenue is also open seven days a week from 8 a.m.–4 p.m. The Westhampton Center is open Thursday–Tuesday from 8 a.m.–4 p.m. (The Sag Harbor transfer station is unable to accept trees.)
East Hampton Town Recycling Center at 260 Springs Fireplace Road will also take your tree free of charge. Bring it down to the weighing scale, and they’ll take it from there.
Of course, you could also call your favorite landscaper or commercial hauler to have it composted.