Holidays would be any other day of the week if there were no such thing as traditions. So, take a page from Clark Griswold's book and cut down your very own Christmas tree—but without the squirrel, of course. In addition, all of these top picks carry pre-cut trees as well, in case there's not a lumberjack in the family. It's a great tradition to start, and there are plenty of farms near Pittsburgh that are convenient and house plenty of different trees from which to choose.
What to bring:
- Cash or check (Most of these family-run farms only accept cash or checks—no credit cards!)
- Bow/Hand saw (most provide saws, but it doesn't hurt to bring one)
- Twine (if you're tying down the tree yourself)
- Work gloves
- Old boots (leave the UGGS at home—your shoes will get dirty!)
Just a 35-minute drive from Pittsburgh, this farm will surely get you into some major Christmas spirit. The family can take a hay ride over to cut your very own tree, or you can simply select your favorite tree from their fresh-cut lot. The farm also has their own Christmas Barn, full of ornaments, lights, garlands, gifts, antiques and collectibles. Steelers fans and John Deere collectors won't leave disappointed, either. In addition, the farm creates fresh pine roping, boughs and wreaths that will go beautifully with your fresh Christmas tree. Grab some hot cocoa, cider or a slice of their home baked pies or fudge.
Trees available: Fir (Canaan, Fraser), Spruce (Blue, Colorado Blue, Norway, White), Pine (White, Scotch)
Cuts: cut-your-own, fresh pre-cut lot, live balled and burlapped trees
121 Allison Lane
Aliquippa, PA 15001
(724) 495-2680/(724) 494-6786
Travel Time: 42 minutes
Allison's has been a favorite of locals for ages, and it's no wonder. Jump on a hayride, grab a saw and pick out your very own tree from a wide selection of different varieties. The farm offers free shaking and bailing. Take a look at their Christmas barn, where they offer crafts, fresh decorative wreaths, refreshments and homemade fudge.
Trees available: Pines (White, Scotch), Spruce (Blue), Fir (Fraser, Douglas, Concolor)
Cuts: cut-your-own, fresh pre-cut, dug trees
Lake Forest Gardens
This 650-acre farm starts selling trees after Thanksgiving and goes strong until Christmas Eve. Like the other two farms, this place offers wagon rides for the whole family. If you've got some family members more into shopping than the great outdoors, drop them off at their store to look at their beautiful wreaths, garlands, door swags and other decorative novelties. After you pick out your tree, sip some hot chocolate and other refreshments to warm up.
Trees available: Fir (Canaan, Douglas, Fir), Pine (White), Spruce (Colorado, Norway)
Cuts: cut-your-own, pre-cut, balled and burlapped
Grupp's Christmas Trees
Previously voted as the best tree farm by Pittsburgh Magazine, Grupp's Christmas Trees has been a Christmas sanctuary for around 30 years. Not only do they have a nice selection of trees, but they also have a great gift shop. They house decorated and plain wreaths, tree bags and stands, balsam pillows, ornaments, decorations and gifts, watering elves and more. Hot chocolate, cider and coffee will warm you up after you pick out the perfect tree. Grupp's also makes tree-cutting as easy as possible. They provide the saw, a tree cart, and they load the tree for you.
Trees available: Spruce (Blue), Fir (Canaan, Douglas, Fraser, Concolor), Pine (Scoth, White)
Cuts: cut-your-own and pre-cut
Cypher's Tree Farm
Family owned and operated since 1953, Cypher's offers a huge variety of different trees, more so than most in the area. Chances are, whatever tree you are looking to find, Cypher's Tree Farm will most definitely have it. Just under an hour away from Pittsburgh, Cypher's typically opens after Thanksgiving and stays open until Christmas Eve.
Trees available: Pines (Scotch, Austrian, White), Spruce (Blue, Norway, White), Fir (Frasier, Concolor, Douglas)
Cuts: cut-your-own, pre-cut, live ball and burlapped
Fleming's Christmas Trees
1803 Fleming Road
Indiana, PA 15701
Travel Time from Pittsburgh: 70 minutes
Indiana, PA, is known as the Christmas Tree Capital of the world, a region that is well adapted to growing various species of evergreen trees. There are plenty of great places that offer pre-cut trees, such as Musser's Forests, which has a great selection of trees. But if you're looking to cut down your own tree, you have to head over to Fleming's. Ever since 1945, this family-run business has been a local favorite. In addition to a nice selection of trees, the farm has horse-drawn wagon rides on the weekends, free kids prizes and a Christmas shop, stocked with all the favorites: stockings, ornaments, handcrafted items, tree trimmers, signs, plaques, snowmen, wreaths and more. To make life easier, there is also free baling and shaking of the trees.
Trees available: Fir (Fraser, Douglas, Canaan Fir) Spruce (Colorado), Pine (Scotch, White)
Cut: cut-your-own, pre-cut
Of course, real trees aren't for everyone. If you have rambunctious pets or little kids, chances are, artificial trees are the way to go. Lowe's and Home Depot each have a fair amount of selection. A more local joint, Meder's Home & Garden Showplace, also has what you're looking for. Every year, they have a huge Christmas display, with a great selection of artificial trees. They also offer outdoor decorations, like blow-ups and lights that will give your home a holiday glow. Trax Farms also offers artificial trees, holiday home décor, Christmas cards, nativities, angels and more.
Nearly every tree farm in this list has their own Christmas shop, but there are plenty of other options. Roxanne's Dried Flowers in the Strip District creates beautiful holiday wreaths that are guaranteed to look like no one else's. Overly's Country Christmas is a great family destination to enjoy Christmas lights, but it also has a beautiful General Store that offers countless Christmas decorations.
Meder's Home & Garden Showplace
Roxanne's Dried Flowers
Overly's Country Christmas
Christine Mouser is currently living in the Pittsburgh area, where she is an editorial intern for Pittsburgh Magazine. She is set to graduate from Penn State University this summer, with a degree in print journalism. She has written for HappyValley.com, Town&Gown magazine and Penn State's Valley magazine.
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