Cut Your Own Tree at a North Carolina Christmas Tree Farm
Choose-and-cut Christmas tree farms in the Triangle and beyond
Photo courtesy of Danielle MacInnes/Shutterstock
Many families cherish the holiday tradition of choosing and cutting their own Christmas trees. They bundle up in warm clothes and head off into the woods, where they debate the merits of several trees before selecting The One. The tree that will be "decked" with treasured ornaments and glittering lights; the one that will be the backdrop for this year’s family photographs, videos and holiday memories.
If you want to experience the old-fashioned holiday tradition of finding and cutting your own tree, you have plenty of choices. More than 100 growers in North Carolina invite visitors to "choose and cut" their own trees. Combined, these North Carolina farmers produce more than 20 percent of the Christmas trees grown in the United States. In fact, Christmas trees are one of North Carolina’s major agricultural crops. With more than 300 Christmas tree growers, North Carolina is ranked second in the nation, behind Oregon, in the number of trees harvested.
Before choosing your tree you will need to determine where in your home the tree will be placed. You’ll also want to consider the desired tree size, density, color and fragrance. You might also want to consider purchasing a "ball and burlap" tree, which is sold with roots intact so it’s possible to replant the tree after the holidays.
Types of Trees
The farms in our region primarily feature Virginia pines, white pines, red cedar, white fir and Leyland cypress trees. Fraser firs are not grown in central North Carolina, although many of the area farms will have these pre-cut and available for sale.
- The Virginia pine is the most popular species grown in the eastern part of our state. The needles occur in pairs on branches that are stout and woody — good for holding ornaments.
- The white pine features soft, flexible needles that range in color from bluish-green to silver-green. White pine needles are a bit longer than those of other species.
- The red cedar, the traditional native Christmas tree of the south, has a nice fragrance, but it can dry out rapidly in a warm house if it is not watered frequently. The color and shape of the red cedar varies widely; its limber branches sometimes have prickly foliage.
- Leyland cypress, a nicely-shaped cultivated hybrid of Monterey cypress and Alaska cedar, is enjoying new popularity as a Christmas tree.
- White firs are known for their citrus fragrance, blue-green color and needle retention.
- Fraser firs have a glossy, dark-green foliage, strong branches and pleasing aroma. The North Carolina Fraser fir has been chosen as the White House Christmas tree 12 times — more than any other species. To choose and cut your own Fraser fir, you’ll need to head to the mountains.
Set a Festive Tone
When you’re ready to go, double-check your driving directions and the working hours for the tree farm you will be visiting. Dress warmly in festive clothing. Play holiday music in the car, and take along a thermos of hot chocolate or spiced apple cider to drink while you hunt for your tree. Don’t forget your camera; you’ll want to capture the excitement as your children leap out of the family to race through the trees. Take along a notebook and pen so you can write down notes about everyone’s favorite trees.
The Care and Feeding of Your Tree
After you bring your tree home, remember to water it frequently. If you need to wait more than a few hours to decorate the tree, keep it outdoors in a cool, shaded area. The base of the tree should be re-sawed on a diagonal near the original cut and placed in water to stay fresh. When the tree is put up in the house, check the water level in the base daily. Make sure the tree is well-supported and placed away from sources of heat. Never leave tree lights on overnight or when no one is home. Check all cords for wear.
A properly chosen and well-kept Christmas tree will add to the enjoyment of your families’ holiday season. Plan a tree-trimming evening that includes sharing stories about origins of ornaments, favorite holiday music and tempting treats. And don’t forget to sing "Oh, Christmas Tree" as you gather round your tree.
North Carolina Trees
The North Carolina Christmas Tree Association and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture maintain website listings of Christmas tree farms in our state. The Eastern North Carolina Christmas Tree Growers Association can also provide information about tree farms. Some tree farms listed on the websites do not have trees available this year but will next year.
North Carolina Christmas Tree Association
828-262-5826 or 800-562-8789
Eastern North Carolina Christmas Tree Growers Association
North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services
Marketing Divisions – Christmas Trees
The farms listed below all offer cut-your-own trees this year. If you choose a farm from one of these sites, please call before you go.
4533 Inwood Rd., Raleigh
Offers choose-and-cut Christmas trees — Virginia pine, White pine, Cedar, Leyland cypress, Carolina sapphire, Green giants, Juniper and pre-cut Fraser fir. Also has wreaths and garlands.
2019 update: Opening Day is Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, at 9 a.m. On opening day, the first load of 200 (of a total of 600, Fraser Fir trees, 6' to 12' tall) will be available for purchase. The first 30 active military service families will receive a $30 discount on their choice of a Fraser Fir Christmas tree; all other military/veterans will receive a $5 discount on their tree of choice. ID required. Limited number of choose-and-cut trees. This year, there are 40-50 new stock trees ready to cut. Over 2,500 trees have been planted in the past three years, and 2,000 trees are on order to plant Spring 2020.
Open: Monday noon-5:30 p.m., Tuesday-Thursday 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Friday-Sunday 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Directions: Farm is located off Lake Wheeler Road, 2 1/2 miles south of the beltline.
1569 Beautancus Road, Mount Olive, NC 28578
Offers choose-and-cut Christmas trees — Leyland Cypress, White Pine and Fraser Fir, and wreaths, garland (roping), accessories and decorations, restrooms, machine-shaking, net-bagging of trees and tours by appointment.
2019 update: Closed for the 2019 season.
Open: Saturday before Thanksgiving through Dec. 20; Sunday-Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Directions: Located 6 miles southeast of Mt. Olive on Beautancus Road.
2813 Mount Vernon Rd., Raleigh
Offers choose-and-cut Christmas trees – White pine, Leyland cypress, Blue Ice, Carolina Sapphire, and pre-cut Fraser fir. Also has wreaths, garland and more. Delivery available.
2019 update: Very limited crop of choose-and-cut.
Open: Boyce Farms is OPEN for the season. Hours are Monday through Friday noon-7 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m.-7 p.m. The farm will be open the Saturday and Sunday prior to Thanksgiving and will reopen the day after (Friday) at 9 a.m.
Directions: Take Highway 50 north (Creedmoor Road) ten miles from Crabtree Valley Mall. Turn left onto Mount Vernon Church Road. Farm is on the left.
1747 Henley Rd, Sanford, NC 27330
Offering choose-and-cut Leyland Cypress, White Pine, Virginia Pine, Carolina Sapphire, and Blue Ice Juniper. Trees can be tagged and cut at your convenience.
2019 update: The farm is experiencing a shortage of trees due to weather conditions this year from rain and wind. However, the farm will be open but highly recommends customers to pre-select your perfect tree early this year. Debit/credit cards accepted with a convenience fee of $2.
Open: Opening Day is Nov. 23, 10 a.m. until dark. Sundays, 2 p.m. until dark. Thanksgiving Day: 2 p.m. until dark. Call and make a appointment for weekday visits.
Directions: From Raleigh Area: Travel US Highway 1 south to Tramway. At Tramway, turn right onto Center Church Road. Go ½ mile and bear right onto Henley Road. Farm is located 2 miles on the left.
6334 Frieden Church Rd, Gibsonville, NC 27249
Choose from a wide selection of Cedar, Carolina Sapphire, White & Scotch Pine, Leyland, Blue Ice Cypress, and pre-cut Fraser Fir in all different sizes. The kids will love the nature trail, fun life-size Fiberglas horse, sleigh, and teepee. Also offering Wreaths, garland (roping), restroom, machine-shaking, net-bagging of trees, stands, free refreshments and pre-tagging of trees by customers beginning in September.
Open: We will open for the season every year the weekend before Thanksgiving. Friday & Saturday 9 AM - 9 PM; Sunday 10 AM - 9 PM.
Directions: From I-85 between Burlington and Greensboro take exit 132 Mt. Hope Church Rd. (I-85 N turn left from exit ramp & I-85 S turn right from ramp). Go 2.7 miles to Route 70 to the stop light. Go straight across, 2.1 miles on McLeansville Rd. and over railroad tracks. Turn right at 1st road, Frieden Church Rd. Go 4.2 miles to Choose & Cut sign on right.
3514 Cannady Mill Rd, Kittrell, NC 27544
Offering Leland Cypress, Carolina Sapphire, Blue Ice and Thuja Green Giant. No pre-cut Fraser Firs this year. Anticipated last day for tree sales will be Dec. 15 so come early this season and cut your tree or "tag" it and come back and cut it when you choose.
Open: Opening Day is the day after Thanksgiving, Nov. 29. Hours are Thursdays and Fridays 1-5 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Directions: Located six miles south of Oxford, NC and only a short drive from Raleigh, Durham, or Wake Forest.
571 Daisy Thompson Rd., Roxboro, NC 27574
Offering Canaan Fir and Concolor Fir. Small supply of choose-and-cut Leyland, Carolina Sapphire Cypress, and Eastern Red Cedar. Hayrides for all ages, Fresh made wreaths, and fire barrel to stay warm.
Open: Opening Day is Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28. Call for hours.
Diretions: Route 57 out of Roxboro 7.5 miles- right on Concord-Ceffo Road 1500 ft left on Daisy Thompson Road last farmhouse at the end, 1/2 miles.
150 Doby Rd, Cameron, NC 28326
2019 update: Field grown Virginia Pines, White Pines, Red Cedars, Leyland Cypress and Carolina Sapphires. Fraser Firs from the mountains are unlikely.
Hours: Opening Day is Nov. 29 at 10 a.m. Call for additional hours.
Directions: Past Sanford down Route 1.
1823 Broadway Rd, Sanford, NC 27330
Offers choose-and-cut Christmas trees — White pine and Leyland cypress. Will have pre-cut Fraser firs, custom made wreaths and high quality tree stands.
Open: Call for Opening Day information. Sunday through Friday, 1-7 p.m.; Saturdays, 8 a.m.-7 p.m.
Directions: Located on Hwy 42 east, 1 mile from Sanford near the intersection of Avent's Ferry Road.
1489 Burnetts Chapel Road, Guilford, NC 27407
Choose-and-cut trees include a limited selection of Leyland Cypress, Carolina Sapphire, Cedar, and Green Giants. Also offering a great selection of Fraser Firs this year from the NC mountains, hay rides around the fields, hot apple cider and much more for you to enjoy. The kids will be able to make their own reindeer candy with an antique corn sheller and pick out a bale of reindeer straw to take care of Santa's team.
Open: Opening Day is Nov. 23, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., for the fourth annual Christmas Craft Fair with Santa at Hickory Creek Farm. Get your Christmas tree, check out the craft vendors, eat some great fair food and visit with Santa and Mrs Claus from noon-3 p.m. Free Hayrides will be running all day. Free admission to the farm. Regular hours are Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Sundays 1-8 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving Day.
Directions: Located just a few miles off Interstate 85 at the Groometown Rd/Grandover Parkway exit. Take Groometown Rd south (away from Greensboro) to Kivett Dr. and turn left. Take the second right onto Burnetts Chapel Rd. and the farm is on your right.
2170 Marthas Chapel Rd., Apex
Offers choose-and-cut Virginia Pines, Leyland Cypress, Carolina Saphire and Eastern Red Cedar Christmas trees, pre-cut fresh Fraser firs, wreaths, garland, table-top Fraser Firs, ball-and-burlap trees for planting after Christmas (come early if your are interested) and more.
2019 update: 2019 is Jordan Lake Christmas Tree Farm's 25th anniversary complete with extended hours, new parking and tree baling/loading system, play area for the kids and bounce house up on the weekends (weather permitting), weekend concessions and hayrides, gift shop and more. Limited selection of choose-and-cut trees this year, including some Virginia Pines, Leyland Cypress, Carolina Saphire and Eastern Red Cedar. Go out and "tag" a tree on any day we open for pick up later if you want the best selection. First day for tagging choose-and-cut trees is Nov. 23.
Open: Time varies by date. Check website for new extended hours for 2019 season. Pets are welcome on the farm if on a leash or are well-trained.
Directions: Take U.S. 64 West in Apex to N.C. 751, then turn left on Marthas Chapel Road.
468 Presnell Rd., Sparta
Offers choose-and-cut Christmas trees – White pine and pre-cut Fraser fir. Wreaths and roping available. Enjoy a hayride to the fields and back with your whole family.
Open: Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Nov. 27-Dec. 13
Directions: From I-77 at Elkin, exit on US 21 North, about 2 miles after passing the Blue Ridge Parkway take a right on Glade Valley Road and follow the signs.
7326 Meadowbrook Road, Benson
Offers choose-and-cut Christmas trees — Arizona Cypress (Blue Ice), Leyland Cypress, Norway Spruce, and White Pine. Pre-cut Fraser firs, wreaths and garlands.
Open: Call for dates and hours.
Directions: Interstate 40, Exit 334 – Meadow Exit. Take Hwy. 96 to Hwy. 50. Go east on Hwy. 50 to first left past Meadow School onto Meadowbrook Road. Go about a mile and a half, farm is on the left.
1263 Isaac Branch Road, Plumtree
Take a hayride to pick the a North Carolina Fraser Fir Christmas tree. Also offers wreaths, garlands, decorations, Christmas shop, refreshments and crafts. Enjoy picnic tables around a pond and small animals (ducks, farm dog, etc.). Apple cider, hot chocolate and coffee along with other drinks and souvenirs will be provided at no extra cost. You can take a picture of your family cutting your Christmas tree for you to take with you. Pictures can be made free of charge with Santa and the elfs. There are numerous photo opportunities available.
2019 update: The choose-and-cut tree farm will open on Nov. 16 this year.
Open: Nov. 16 and 17, open 8:30 a.m.-4:30 pm. Thanksgiving Day, Friday, Saturday and Sunday (Thanksgiving weekend), 8:30 a.m.-4:30 pm. Weekdays (other than mentioned) are open 12:30-4:30 p.m. The dates of Dec.19-22, please call 828-765-0019 for an appointment to come and pick out your tree. Please arrive by 4:00 p.m. so you can pick out your tree before dark.
Directions: Take I-40 west to Hwy. 226 at Marion. North on Hwy. 226 to Spruce Pine. Turn right on Hwy. 19-E and go 12 miles to Plumtree and follow the signs to the farm.
686 Fleming Road, Youngsville
Offers choose-and-cut Christmas trees – White pine and Leyland cypress ranging 6-8 feet. Pre-tagging of trees by customers starting Thanksgiving. Choose-and-cut daylight hours only
Open: Call for dates and hours.
Directions: 1.2 miles north of Youngsville on Nassau St/Fleming Road (SR 1132).
Updated Nov. 14, 2019