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The “most wonderful time of the year” begins for me with the scent of fresh cut pine. We get our tree the minute Thanksgiving passes, while we visit family in Redding, California. Decked in snow clothes and wool hats (converted from old sweaters of course!) we pile into four by four vehicles, and a caravan of ten or so cars sets out. We make a long trek to the Lassen Mountain range to find our evergreens, light a bon fire and warm ourselves with Uncle Steve’s famous chicken soup.

This year, we even found a snow park with a warming hut (a cabin with a fireplace burning inside) where we could eat our soup after a long day of tree hunting and snow angels. As the years pass, our family and friends hold tightly to this tradition of tree cutting. What better way to begin the winter holiday than to revel with loved ones in nature’s winter glory?

Sonoma County families have ample opportunities to cut their own holiday trees. Today we joined the Kaiser family in selecting their tree from the Wallin family tree farm in Sebastopol. Years ago, this property was an apple orchard and a beef operation. For the past 25 years, the farm offers in-the-know families a selection of 300 full lovely, trees.

Locals and out of towners – some from as far as San Diego, return year after year to cut their evergreen and sip cider with the Wallins. Every family is invited to stay for a warm cup, a candy cane (or a fruit roll for health-oriented families), and to peruse the gift shop. The Wallins also hand out a coupon for a free bag of Twin Hills Apple Ranch – another local farm.

The Press Democrat reports local tree farms aren’t feeling the pinch of local economic woes. Farmer Ed Wallin says his sales have been average or better than average this year. He attributes families’ tree splurges to a renewed internal focus. “The tough economy means that families are spending more time together and are focusing more on traditions.” The Kaisers seem to second this sentiment, as they take a busy day away from their Singing Frogs Farm to cut a tree with their two-year old son. “Cut this tree, Daddy!” sings little Lucas as the family determines which trees are contenders for their holiday center piece.

Find your own tree at the Wallin Farm by trekking out to 840 Ferguson Road in Sebastopol, California. Ed and Kathy look forward to greeting you between 9am and 5pm every day of the week.  You can cut down a tree for purchase or buy a live tree.  The farm opens the Friday after Thanksgiving and remains open until just before Christmas. Please call 823-6973 for more information.

Three local resources offer a directory of tree farms:
Be sure to share your favorite tree cutting stories, photos, mountains, or farms by leaving your comments. We're off to decorate our tree now!


  1. Cynthia // December 6, 2009 at 6:56 PM  

    your blog is looking lovely Holly. Great job.

  2. Sono-Ma: Holly White-Wolfe // December 20, 2009 at 2:37 PM  

    Check out Apron Thrift Girl's adorable post on her Sono-Ma County tree trekking!

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