2007-11-15 / Top Stories

Pick And Cut Your Own Christmas Tree At Ulster County Farm

After selecting and cutting down your tree at an Ulster County Tree Farm, like the one at left, you can load it onto the roof of your car for the trip home.
After selecting and cutting down your tree at an Ulster County Tree Farm, like the one at left, you can load it onto the roof of your car for the trip home. The custom of setting up and decorating an evergreen tree for the holidays is an ancient one. For many, part of the joy of the season comes from the very selection of that tree. But instead of rushing down to the nearest parking lot stand, grocery or big box store to search through one of a hundred identical others, why not try something new?

An hour and a half north of New York City, in the small towns and villages of Ulster County, there are eighteen family-owned and operated tree farms where visitors can select their favorite tree and cut it down themselves. Here, the tradition of finding that one special tree remains as alive and well as the trees themselves. And the cost is surprisingly reasonable, averaging about $7 or $8 a foot.

For those who are new to the tradition, many of Ulster County's U-cut Christmas tree farms make it easy by offering assistance with cutting, bailing and loading while others stick with the more old school approach by asking visitors to bring their own saws, burlap and twine. Tree varieties and other items sold, such as wreaths, roping, and holiday crafts, vary by farm. Some even offer hayrides, cross-country ski trails, hot chocolate, candy canes and other family fun.

Ulster County Tourism has a free, Cut Your Own Christmas Tree directory with information about hours of operation, the types of trees and other items available at each tree farm. To receive one call, 1.800.342.5826 or visit: www.ulstertourism.info.

After a day spent in the fresh, bracing, winter air, aspiring lumberjacks may be in search of a warm bed. Options abound including cozy bed and breakfasts, quaint inns and lodges and a host of full service, nationally recognized hotels. Before rushing home, you may want shop for fine art and antiques along the waterfront in historic downtown Kingston; visit the eclectic locally owned shops in Woodstock and New Paltz; or enjoy an idyllic New England holiday experience in picturesque High Falls.

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