Not too early for Christmas tree

U-CUT: It's a family outing for many who head to tree farms across South Sound

November 28, 2010 

Not too early for Christmas tree

Kathryn Stevens of Tacoma, left, carrying her 7-month-old son, Milo, shares a laugh Saturday with Sara Pitroff of Mountlake Terrace at Schilter Family Farm's U-cut Christmas tree lot in Nisqually. Stevens' husband, Daniel, right, and Pitroff's husband, Jonathan, carry Douglas firs to their cars.

BY DEAN J. KOEPFLER/THE NEWS TRIBUNE — The Olympian

  • U-CUT PERMITS

    U-cut permits to fell Christmas trees in Olympic National Forest are available for $5 each at the supervisor’s office at 1835 Black Lake Blvd. S.E., Suite A, Olympia.

    To arrange to get a permit, call 360-956-2300. For order forms and more information, go to www.fs.fed.us/r6/olympic.

    SOUTH SOUND TREE FARMS

    The following is a partial list of Christmas tree farms in South Sound:

    Ames Christmas Trees

    Where: 4115 Baker Ames Road N.E., Olympia.

    Hours: 8 a.m.-dusk daily through Dec. 24.

    Trees: Douglas fir, $15 all sizes; grand fir, $20 all sizes; Noble fir, $25 all sizes.

    Contact: 360-357-3155.

    Black Lake Tree U-Cut

    Where: 62nd Avenue and Delphi Road, Olympia.

    Hours: Noon-dusk Fridays-Sundays through Dec. 24.

    Trees: Norway spruce, nobles, $30-$100; grands, $35-$75; Fraser and Douglas firs, $20 and up.

    Also available: Saws and carts are provided.

    Contact: 360-866-4125.

    Gibbons Nobles

    Where: 9212 Delphi Road S.W., Olympia.

    Hours: 9 a.m.-dusk Fridays-Sundays through Dec. 20.

    Also available: Saws, knee pads and help for cutting and hauling.

    Trees: $40 for any size.

    Contact: 360-352-7569.

    Hunter's Christmas Tree Farm

    Where: 7401 Yelm Highway S.E., Olympia.

    Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. weekends through Dec. 23.

    Trees: Noble, Douglas, Fraser and grand firs.

    Contact: 360-456-0466 or www.hunterchristmastrees.com.

    Clyde 'N Dales Holiday Trees and Gifts

    Where: 10712 Tracie Court S.W., Olympia.

    Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Fridays-Sundays through Dec. 19.

    Also available: Holiday gift shop; free Clydesdale trolley rides.

    Contact: 360-352-TREE or www.olympiacarriage.com.

    Schilter Famiily Farm

    Where: 141 Nisqually Cut-off Road, Olympia.

    Hours: 10 a.m.-dusk weekdays, 9 a.m.-dusk weekends through Dec. 21.

    Trees: Noble, grand, Fraser and Douglas firs.

    Also available: Pre-cut trees, wreaths, cedar garlands, centerpieces, stands and holiday gifts.

    Contact: 360-459-4023 or www.schilterfamilyfarm.com.

    Brewer's U-Cut Christmas Trees

    Where: 2382 W. Deegan Road, Shelton.

    Hours: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. daily through Dec. 23.

    Trees: Noble, grand, Douglas, Fraser and Nordman firs; Scotch and white pine; spruce; and balsam.

    Also includes: Wreaths and garlands; indoor pony rides on the first and second weekends in December.

    Contact: 360-426-4936 or www.brewerschristmastrees.com.

NISQUALLY - Nebraska native Renee Wegworth had never been to a U-cut Christmas tree farm before, so with her two sons in tow, the family traveled Saturday from Joint Base Lewis-McChord to the Schilter Family Farm in Nisqually.

There, they joined other families who were looking to cut down a Noble, Fraser, grand or Douglas fir tree for the holidays.

One reason Renee wanted to get a U-cut tree this year is to make Christmas a little more special for her husband. He returns from Afghanistan this month to spend two weeks with the family before returning for another stint overseas, she said. With input from her 3-year-old son, Hunter, the Wegworth family decided on a $25 Douglas fir.

The tree farm takes up 40 acres on the Schilter family’s 180-acre farm and is off to a busy start, co-owner Jeff Schilter said. The farm sold about 200 trees Friday, 10 percent more than on the same Friday last year, and Saturday had been “nice and steady,” he said.

The farm is 70 years old; it was a dairy farm until the Schilter family switched to selling trees in 1999, Schilter said. One reason for the switch was that the farm’s visibility from Interstate 5 makes it easy to sell directly to the public, he said.

The farm also is known for growing corn and pumpkins.

Visitors arrived in trucks and SUVs. They picked up a handsaw, then selected a tree and cut it down. Staffers hauled the trees back to the entrance area, where they were cut or trimmed for the Christmas tree stand, had loose needles shaken off and then were wrapped in netting for the trip home.

Prices at the farm range from $25 for a Douglas fir of any size to about $82 for a 10- to 11-foot Noble fir, according to a price list.

The farm also has a gift shop, a Nativity scene set up in a historic barn at the farm, and an area where trees can be flocked, giving them a snow-covered appearance.

Jose Marmolejo and Valerie Schade of Lakewood cut down their tree in about three minutes, while daughter Ofelia was having fun making her own little pile of tree branches. Marmolejo said traveling to the farm for the second consecutive year makes it “more of a family experience.”

Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403 rboone@theolympian.com www.theolympian.com/bizblog

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