Cut Your Own Tree

The family and I headed out yesterday to cut our own Christmas tree. I did this as a child in Fairport, New York, but here in Atlanta? As a kid we always hit a Big John’s tree sale, or in recent years, the Home Depot on Ponce. This year, we decided to head out to a tree farm and cut one down ourselves. We thought it would be a nice way of establishing a holiday tradition for our fledgling family of four. We decided on Berry’s Tree Farm in Covington. There was no research into this: We just saw a sign for it on the way into town from Lake Sinclair.

You drive up to an older lady, missing a few teeth, and handing out bow saws into the driver’s side window. (You have to go with the flow here, and not worry yourself about the Berry family’s obvious liability issues.) They give you a card showing the price list for the different kinds of trees (marked with colored flags, for those of us who can’t tell the difference between a Leyland Cypress and a Carolina Sapphire) and you drive off over small hills and into the trees.

The place was pretty crowded, and it was fun to overhear people’s conversations about the trees. The clientele ranged from bleach blond women carrying babies and with cigarettes hanging out of their mouths to affluent families that looked like they just stepped out of an L.L. Bean catalog, all of whom agreed that it was best to avoid trees containing yellow jacket nests, or next to anthills. Kids were running wildly all over the property, which includes the trees, a pond, a nursery, some outbuildings, a train ride for the little ones, and a snack shop, where you can get both holiday and southern delicacies like hot apple cider and hot chocolate, and boiled peanuts. In addition to trees, Berry’s tree farm also sells wreaths. All of this is presented with a backdrop of speakers trumpeting country Christmas classics.

I think in the future, we need to pick a little cooler weather for tree cutting, as I was suffocating in my carefully chosen winter white wool sweater. (One must wear appropriate attire for cutting of Christmas tree and establishing holiday tradition; One must carefully orchestrate dress to look more like J. Crew holiday catalog than family Christmas costumes in movie Better Off Dead. No snowman sweaters allowed.) The warm weather also made the drinking of apple cider and hot chocolate more of an exercise in Christmas cheer than a necessity.

We had a great time, and I would recommend the farm to others. The only thing that bothered me was that there is a new housing development abutting the farm, and it is obvious that the Berrys sold off part of their tree farm to supply the land for the development, as lots on the tree farm side still contained Christmas trees. Which actually is kind of cool if you are a kid living in one of these houses. Not so cool if you prefer a pristine tree farm to a McMansion development, as I do. Either way, the new subdivision nestled in the outskirts of a tree farm is oh-so-Atlanta.

I would be curious about other Atlanta tree-cutting farms, if people know of any.

2 Comments so far

  1. CaptainObvious (unregistered) on December 4th, 2006 @ 1:28 pm

    You can find more Christmas Tree farms here.

    I have taken my daughters to the Kinsey Family Farm just south of Dawsonville as well as the Worthington Tree Farm near Lovejoy. They had a blast at both the years they went, not sure about where I will take them this year.

  2. Annie (unregistered) on December 4th, 2006 @ 4:14 pm

    Thanks, Capt!

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