There’s something special about finding your Christmas tree at a local farm instead of a parking lot. Maybe it’s the thrill of the hunt, maybe it’s the labor of love that goes into wrangling your family into a holiday memory, or maybe it’s just the ultimate chop local (see what we did there?). Whatever the reason, Baltimore is lucky enough that a handful of the area’s best fresh-cut Christmas tree farms are a quick road trip away.
A SNOWBALL’S CHANCE TREE FARM
Named in part for the Liberty Road snowball stand that it once shared land with, this choose-and-cut Christmas tree farm has been open since 2005. Open for one weekend only, Dec. 3-4, this year, the new location in Woodstock will offer eight and nine-inch pre-cut Fraser Firs or chop-your-own White Pines & Blue Spruces. 10231 Harvest Fields Drive, Woodstock.
DAVIDSON CHRISTMAS TREE FARM
Although it’s been active for more than two centuries, this family-owned Upperco Farm didn’t start to plant Christmas tree seedlings until the late ’60s. The fields are open seven days per week from Nov. 18 to Dec. 17. On weekends, stop by for a wagon ride, check out the gift shop, score treats at the snack bar, and sift through its 60-plus acres for eight tree varieties, such as the silver-blue Concolor Fir. 1101 Emory Church Rd., Upperco
FROSTEE TREE FARM
The appropriately named Helen and George Winter began planting and selling trees at their Perry Hall farm in 1974. The two have since passed away, but the farm, now run by Paul Stiffler, boasts 15 acres of ready-to-cut trees ranging from Scotch Pine to White Pine, Douglas Pine, and Norway Spruce. The farm re-opens after Thanksgiving. 8926 Cowenton Ave., Perry Hall
Owner Michael Gaver was just 17 when he established this Mt. Airy farm in 1978. Today, it holds 70 acres of cut-your-own trees, with varieties such as the sturdy and tall Colorado Blue Spruce and the whisper-soft White Pine. Christmas tree shopping starts Nov. 24. Be sure to stop into the family farm’s cafe for apple cider doughnuts, beef sandwiches, and hot cocoa before you leave. 5501 Detrick Rd., Mt. Airy
GUNPOWDER TREE FARM
Starting Nov. 24, both pick-your-own and pre-cut trees are readily available at this family-owned Kingsville farm. The land is flush with everything from the soft-needled, fragrant Nordmann Fir to the picture-perfect pyramidal Douglas Fir. 12025 Philadelphia Rd., Kingsville
HALE TREE FARM
A native of Montana, owner Jeff Hale first started planting his Christmas trees at the beloved White Hall farm in 1984, six years before it opened. Now, his kids and grandkids help him grow and sell the farm’s prizewinning bounty, which includes Balsam and Douglas Firs, beginning on Black Friday. 4827 Norrisville Rd., White Hall
PINE VALLEY FARMS
Founded by couple Roger and Jane Wolfe some 46 years ago, this family-run farm in Sykesville (opening for the season Nov. 17) contains more than 100 acres of choose-and-cut trees. Here—along with a Christmas barn stocked with hot cocoa and snacks—you can find the Korean Fir tree, which is known to produce purple pinecones. 1150 Fannie Dorsey Rd., Sykesville
Opening for the season on Nov. 18, this nearly 40-year-old Carroll County farm sells everything from cut-your-own to small tabletop evergreens to “ball and burlap” Christmas trees—which are dug up fresh from the field and can be replanted after the holiday season ends. It also offers festive table centerpieces, wreaths, and locally made goodies for stocking stuffing. 3400 Harney Rd., Taneytown