ORLANDO, Fla. – It's the most wonderful time of the year! Time to deck the halls, hang the mistletoe and decorate that tree.
Getting a Christmas tree can be a magical time for families, but few in Central Florida, for obvious reasons, actually cut down their own tree. That does not have to be the case, however.
Santa's Christmas Tree Forest in Eustis allows guests to cut down their own tree.
"All trees, all sizes, that you cut and carry from the field are just $45 (each)," according to the farm's website. "Trees upwards of 14 feet are available."
How it began
Jack and Judy Ewing moved to Eustis in 1980 and built a house on their 33 acres of property. After their children went to college, they decided that they wanted to do something productive with their land.
"Guests have the unique opportunity to cut a real Florida Christmas tree in the field," the website said. "We provide the saw, we provide the live tree, and you get to do the cutting."
Florida Christmas trees aren't for everyone, Judy Ewing said, adding that they have soft branches and don't hold heavy ornaments very well.
Because of that, the farm also sells precut traditional Christmas trees.
How it works
"You may choose to walk into the field or hop on board our hayride, and we will give you a tour of our 17 acres of Christmas trees," the website states."
When you see the one of the 17,000 trees at the farm, you simply let the workers know.
"Raise your hand to stop the ride when you find a good spot. Upon disembarking, we will provide you with a saw, and you choose and cut that perfect tree," the website said. "The hayride will bring you and your tree back to the processing area or you may choose to carry it in."
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Workers will help you tie the tree to your car and off you go.
For information about the trees, the farm's hours, the photo policy, costs and other activities at the farm, visit santaschristmastreeforest.com.
Are there any places closer to metro Orlando where you can cut down your own tree?
U-Pick Christmas Trees in Oviedo was open in 2017, but has since permanently closed.
Here’s a link to other Christmas tree businesses, but be sure to call before going to ensure they’re still open.
Other than that, a precut or artificial tree will have to do.
If you know of any other do-it-yourself Christmas farms or lots, let us know by emailing email@example.com.
Lazy? Amazon to the rescue
Meanwhile, if you’re too busy or too lazy to cut down your own tree, Amazon may have a solution for you.
Amazon, the company that revolutionized the way people buy books, diapers and dog food, sold live, 7-foot trees last year, and according to one report, the company will do so again in 2019.
Last year, Douglas firs and Norfolk Island pines were chopped down and shipped within 10 days (or even less) to a buyer’s doorstep in a typical Amazon box.