There’s a lot to consider before you buy a Christmas tree, starting with the great debate about whether to invest in a good fake one versus bringing home a real one year after year. Each option has its own pros and cons, so it really just comes down to what’s best for your family.
For many people, one big selling point of real evergreens is that you can go pick out the perfect specimen—and maybe even chop it down—yourself. And as Charlie Brown taught us all, perfect doesn’t necessarily refer to the most symmetrical, fullest one of the bunch.
But it does at least have to be a tree that you’re legally allowed to take home. Surprisingly, dozens of national forests will let you chop down an evergreen as long as you purchase a Christmas tree permit beforehand.
Or you could just head to a Christmas tree farm—and the National Christmas Tree Association has an online tool that can lead you to the ideal one. The NCTA Real Christmas Tree Locator is made with Google My Maps, which allows the creation of customized maps using Google Maps technology.
The tool can help you find a tree farm or lot near you with all the features you want in a tree-selection experience. Maybe you only want to search for locations that let you cut down your own tree (or, conversely, ones where the trees are pre-cut). Maybe you’re hoping to ramp up the holiday cheer during the outing with a hayride or sleigh ride; and maybe the animal lovers in your cohort would enjoy a site that also plays host to a petting zoo. Click through icons on the map to expand various details about the corresponding places, from website links and contact information to services provided and even types of trees available.
You can explore the NCTA Real Christmas Tree Locator here.