For many people, finding the perfect Christmas tree and cutting it down is a family tradition, and one that puts them in the holiday mood. In Carroll County, local farms are happy to help spread that Christmas cheer, and bring in a little green as well.
"Between now and Christmas, those are the busy times," said Wayne Thomas, owner of Thomas Tree Farms in Manchester. "It's an exciting time of the year. Most of the folks are in a pretty good mood, that's for sure."
Thomas Tree Farms actually opened the weekend before Thanksgiving, Thomas said, and he had quite a few families come to get their tree.
"A few people come to get their Christmas tree on Thanksgiving," Thomas, 72, added.
After a good growing season and successful new plantings, Zepp's Tree Farm in Westminster is looking forward to a busy season.
"We hope it's a good season and we get people to the farm," said Sandy Zepp, owner. "We have a lot of trees to choose from and they are really pretty this year."
While people come out in all weather, Zepp is hoping for a light snow now and then to add to the experience. "A little bit of snow brings people out — and puts everyone in the holiday spirit," Zepp said. "Especially for the little ones. "
As for keeping that tree green through December, Thomas said water is the key.
"Don't ever let it run out of water," he said. "It will seal up on the bottom and not drink any more." Certain trees hold up better, too, he added, noting white pine and Fraser fir.
"A white pine will hold their needles longer than any tree," Thomas said. "If you put a tree up (early), a white pine is my choice."
The 2012 version of Christmas Trees and Holiday Greens in Carroll County is available online at http://www.carrollag.org. The following is a list of tree farms in Carroll and neighboring areas compiled from that list, as well as a few from the Maryland Christmas Tree Association. For details and additional listings, go to http://www.marylandchristmastrees.org.
Breezy Trees Farm
2198 Sam's Creek Road, Taylorsville. 410-875-0665, or go to http://www.BreezyTrees.com. Open through Dec. 23, Saturdays and Sundays, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Douglas and Fraser firs. Tree baling. Directions: From Westminster, Route 27 south to Sam's Creek Road and left on Sam's Creek to farm.
Davidson Christmas Tree Farm
1101 Emory Church Road, Upperco. Call 410-239-6556; http://www.davidsonchristmastreefarm.com. Open through Dec. 24, daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Fraser, Douglas and Canaan fir; blue and Norway spruce, white pine. Small quantities (100 or less) of Serbian and white and black spruce, concolor and Balsam fir. Wreaths, roping, baling, saws. Snacks and gift shop on weekends. Directions: From Route 140, take Route 91 north to Emory Church Road. Left to farm.
3700 Wards Chapel Road, Marriottsville. 410-461-5654, or email email@example.com, or go to http://www.feezersfarm.com. Open Saturdays and Sundays, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., through Dec. 23. Blue and Norway spruce, Douglas fir, pre-cut Fraser fir. Baling and free hot chocolate. Directions: Liberty Road toward reservoir to Wards Chapel Road and right onto Wards Chapel to farm.
2311 Neudecker Road, Westminster. 410-876-7680 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Open Dec. 1-23, Saturdays and Sundays, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Other times by appointment. Colorado blue, Serbian and Norway spruce; white and Bosnian pine; Douglas and Fraser fir. Wreaths, greens, holly, balled and burlap trees. Directions: Route 140 to Gorsuch Road. Northeast on Gorsuch to Leisters Church Road and right to Neudecker Road. Left to farm on right.
Fra-mar Tree Farm