Oh Tannenbaum

Get into the spirit and cut a fresh Christmas tree this year.

Photograph by Carolyn Evans
With the smell of fresh Christmas tree on your hands and the perfect tree tied to the roof of your car, you’re sure to be in the Christmas spirit as you drive home from one of the Christmas tree farms dot the hills of East Tennessee.

Several are within a 30-minute drive of West Knoxville. Pull on your favorite jacket and colorful scarf, and you’re ready for a Norman Rockwellesque experience. Saws are provided and owners will even blow out extra needles and wrap trees in a net to keep branches intact on the way home. Most farms also offer free hot chocolate or cider.

Leo Collins owns Bluebird Christmas Tree Farm. Visitors can stroll around the 10-acre field with 500 ready-to-sell Leyland cypress, Norway Spruce, and Virginia Pine trees. The farm includes an 1820s cabin, an old barn, a lookout platform, a shop with locally produced jams, jellies and honey, and rocks painted by a Pigeon Forge artist.  Bluebird Christmas Tree Farm opens the Thursday before Thanksgiving, but is closed on Thanksgiving Day. Regular hours are Thursday through Sunday, 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. For more information, call 599-3522 or go to bluebirdtrees.com.

After a five-year hiatus, Jim and Jean Lockwood are reopening their Crosseyed Cricket Christmas tree farm the day after Thanksgiving. Their 60-acre property has 300-400 blue spruces ready for festive homes. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week starting the day after Thanksgiving. Close to Christmas, check the website for availability. For more information, call 986-5435 or visit www.crosseyedcricket.com.

Jim and Barbara Stevens of White Pine Acres started growing trees as a hobby and have watched it grow into a tradition. “We’ve been selling to the public for 22 or 23 years,” he said. “The kids can roast marshmallows and we give out hot chocolate and spiced cider.” White Pine Acres opens November 24 on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 10 a.m. till dark. For more information, call 690-0289 or go to www.white-pine-acres.com.

Cousins Doug and David Tolliver at TNT Christmas Tree Farm sold their first Christmas tree in 1996. “My father and his brother started the business,” Doug said. Eventually he and his cousin, David, took over, and with 35 acres planted with Christmas trees, there are about 600 white pines and Leyland cypress ready to be sold.  To learn more, call 932-0658 or 919-8118.

“Our up-and-coming Douglas Firs, Virginia pines, and white pines are on display as they grow to family Christmas tree sizes,” say Andy and Olivia Ogle, who own North Spoon Christmas Tree Farm operates Buttermilk Tree Farms with Steve and Sandy Lockett. North Spoon offers freshly cut Fraser firs brought over from North Carolina until the local trees are full grown, and will be open December 1 to 23 on Friday from 4 p.m. until dark, and Saturday from 10 a.m. until dark. Buttermilk Farms will offer Norway spruces that you can cut yourself, and will be open the day after Thanksgiving from 10 a.m. until dark and Saturday, Nov. 25, from 10 a.m. until dark, or until the trees are sold out. To find out more about both farms, call 865-755-5854 or visit www.northspoonchristmastrees.com.

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