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Picking out the perfect tree can be a holiday highlight

From choose-and-cut adventures to ready-to-load lots, finding your family fir can be a ‘Noble’ endeavor
By: Leah Rosasco, Auburn Journal Correspondent
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Local Christmas Tree Farms

Cole’s Christmas Trees
6540 Highway 193, Newcastle
(916) 663-2684
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Dec. 12

Eisley Nursery
380 Nevada St., Auburn
(530) 885-5163
8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday to Saturday;
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday
eisleynursery.com

Little Bear Creek Tree Farm
960 Meadow Road, Alta
(530) 389-8989
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily until Dec. 24

Meadow Vista Tree Farm
1291 Meadow Vista Road, Meadow Vista
(530) 878-7210
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays thru Dec. 15

Pine Valley Ranch
10680 Kemper Road, Auburn
(530) 885-3005
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily

Placer High School
275 Orange St., Auburn
(530) 885-4581
Open 3-8 p.m. weekdays;
9 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekends
through Dec. 15

Poppy Lane Christmas Tree Farm
12110 Poppy Lane, Auburn
(530) 906-6988
9 a.m. to 9 p.m. through Christmas Eve

Red Feather Farms
2100 Red Feather Circle, Applegate
(530) 878-1397
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends;
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays

Snowy Peaks Tree Farm
30100 Foresthill Road, Foresthill
(530) 367-3766
9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily through Dec. 17
 

Those in search of a Tannenbaum of their own to serenade need to look no further than Auburn-area Christmas tree farms and lots.
Whether picking out the perfect Christmas tree is a time-honored family tradition or just another item on the to-do list, local options include choose-and-cut adventures complete with  wagon rides, nature walks and bonfires, pre-cut trees ready to load in the car, or a little of both.  
Ginger Armstrong, who owns Snowy Peaks Tree Farm in Foresthill with husband Jim, said the majority of their customers return to the farm year after year as a family tradition, and in some cases they are now welcoming three generations.
“People came as teens with their parents when they didn’t want to come and now they come as adults, with their own children, and they are happy to be here,” Armstrong said. “That’s really fun for us.”
At Snowy Peaks Tree Farm visitors can wander the 55-acre property on foot in search of the perfect tree to cut down themselves or they can select from one of the pre-cut trees grown on site. Visitors can also tour the property in a vintage horse-drawn covered wagon, enjoy a picnic lunch, and gather around a bonfire, Armstrong said.  For people who enjoy the “hustle and bustle” Armstrong recommends visiting Snowy Peaks on the weekend, with weekdays allowing for a “pleasant and quiet” visit.
“If people want peace and calm but they can only get here on a weekend, the earlier the better,” Armstrong said.
Robert Hane, who owns Pine Valley Ranch in Auburn with his wife Sharon, said people should take a few things into consideration before choosing a Christmas tree, such as how many ornaments do they want to put on the tree.  
“A Noble fir is great for people who like lots of ornaments because it can handle the most weight,” Hane said. “The Doug and Grand firs are close seconds.”
Pine Valley Ranch includes 12 acres of choose-and-cut trees as well as pre-cut trees. In addition to eating lunch in the covered picnic area, Hane said visitors can browse the on-site gift shop and take a walk on the nature trail.
“We love being in the Christmas tree business,” Hane said. “Everybody who comes here is in a good mood and they really get in the spirit.”
Those who take a more subdued approach to acquiring a Christmas tree may find what they are looking for at one of Auburn’s Christmas tree lots. The Placer High Music Booster Club offers a variety of species at their Christmas Tree Lot located on the Placer High Campus. According to Ellen Aoki, a parent volunteer, the Christmas Tree Lot is the second-largest fundraiser for the group after their crab feed. Aoki said she encourages people to stop by the lot to get a tree and help out their local school.
“We have a lot of different kinds of trees and people will enjoy great personalized service from Placer High students,” Aoki said.
Also offering a large selection is Cal’s Christmas Trees, which has been operating at the corner of Highway 49 and Luther Road for the past 30 years. Manager Floyd Mitchell said Cal’s offers multiple species of pre-cut trees in a variety of sizes as well as flocking. Mitchell recommends people pick a tree based on the size and shape they like, as well as the level of aroma they prefer.
“The Grand fir has a nice strong citrus scent and a lot of people like that, but it’s not for everybody,” Mitchell said.
For those on a tighter budget Mitchell suggests a Doug fir, which he says are more affordable because they grow faster.
Nancy Haddad of Auburn, who was shopping for a tree at Cal’s with her daughter Jennifer Haddad and grandson Parker Haddad, 2, said she has purchased her tree there for the past 27 years, since her daughter was little.  
“They have such pretty trees and they smell lovely,” Haddad said.
Although Haddad said she had no particular requirements for her tree her grandson Parker specified that it needed to be “spikey.”
“I guess that’s our requirement,” Haddad said. “As long as he’s happy, we’re happy.”