Few holiday traditions match the outdoor fun and anticipation of picking out the family tree. In Northern Michigan, folks can meander through tree farms or stroll through a forest of pre-cut beauties. They can visit tiny “local” favorites or head to places that celebrate tree choosing as a day-long event. Check out our list of ready-to-go and hunt-for-your-own spots from Petoskey to Traverse City, all boasting their own magic this holiday season.
Pond Hill Farm in Harbor Springs Owners Marci and Jimmy Spencer said they want to give farm visitors a “winter wonderland” experience. In addition to a field of pre-cut spruce and fir trees, there is a variety of wreaths, swags and garland to deck your halls. Stay for hay rides, cookie decorating, even the chance to make your own holiday centerpiece or ornaments…and you can cross names off your Christmas list with gift baskets of local goodies that can be made to order. Kids can visit with Santa noon- 6 pm on December 4th and 5th, and adults can warm up with a free wine tasting with the purchase of any holiday decoration at Harbor Springs Vineyard and Winery's wine tasting room, open everyday, 11 am – 6 pm. 231-526-FARM
Bill’s Farm Market in Petoskey On top of snow covered hills, rows of pre-cut Blue Spruce, Fraser Fir, and Balsam Firs sit, waiting to be wrapped and strapped to car rooftops by the always friendly market staff. Perfer to cut your own? Bill’s offers that option too, as well as an abundance of decorations including, holly, garland, swags and wreaths up to 8ft! 231-347-6735
Goslin’s Greenery in Petoskey Tucked in a nook along the country roads east of Petoskey, Goslin’s boasts 20 acres of trees to choose from—some more than 15-feet tall—and all for the same price ($25) … Just remember to bring your own saw. The Blue Spruce, White Spruce, Douglas Fir, Concolor Fir and Balsam Firs can be topped with handmade bows, and wreaths, swags, holiday baskets and pre-cut trees are also available. Hate the idea of chopping down a tree? Goslin’s sells potted pines in sizes that range from three-feet to over seven-feet tall. 231-347-4350
McPherson Evergreens in Ellsworth Offers 17 acres of choose and cut and fresh, pre-cut trees in a slew of varieties, including Black Hills, Blue Spruce, Corkbark Fir, Scotch and White Pines, Balsam, Canaan, Concolor, Douglas and Fraser Firs. Plenty of holiday greenery is also available. Choose from wreaths ranging from 18-72 inches, garland and centerpieces in specialty shapes. Enjoy complimentary coffee, cocoa and cookies as a nifty clean, drill and wrap machine readies your tree. Check your local paper for coupons. 231-588-6137
Groleau’s Farm in Traverse City has a variety of fresh-cut trees and a “full service” staff ready to help you drill and load your perfect pick. With wreaths, garland, and lots of canned goods including maple syrup and honey also available at the farm market, you can deck your halls and your dinner table in one stop. Amish rugs and baskets are also available for that one last holiday gift you need to purchase. 231-929-9654
Looking for ways to make the holiday tree tradition even more magical? Find a favorite Christmas tree book to read together each year after the ornaments are hung and the lights are aglow. McLean and Eakin Booksellers in Petoskey suggests The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree by Gloria Houston or O Christmas Tree (a nonfiction find that has the history of Christmas Tree traditions). Mcleanandeakin.com.
Add some local lore to your Christmas this year and read MyNorth's article about The Legend of Northern Michigan's Christmas Tree Ship and the brave souls who brought trees to the people of Chicago.