Oh, Christmas Tree, Oh, Christmas Tree

Achievement: #36. Christmas Tree

As we mentioned in our last post, we’ll be jumping back and forth between 2014 & 2015 briefly until we complete the write-ups of a handful of Achievements we finished last year. Today’s post takes us back to November and our trip to Hozak Farms to pick out our Christmas tree.

Most years, we pick up our tree pre-cut from Reilly’s Farm in the North Hills. But this year, we decided to be a little more adventurous.

Christmas Tree
We headed up north to Hozak Farms to cut our own tree!

I had done this once before with my parents in the mid-90s. I want to say I had very fond memories of this previous trip, but it was freezing raining, our saw blade was really dull, all three of us (and the tree) were covered in mud for ages, my dad was super grumpy the whole time, and the general consensus was that we were never, ever, ever, EVER going to cut our own tree again.

Christmas Tree
Needless to say, we had to bring my parents with us so they could re-experience this magic once again.

Christmas Tree
Thankfully, unlike the 1994-ish fiasco, we had beautiful weather. It was a little windy and reeeeeeally cold on the day after Thanksgiving, but it was sunny and gorgeous, and the field wasn’t muddy at all.

Christmas Tree
When you arrive at Hozak, you board a hayride (which may or may not be pulled by their famous Terrible Tractor) which takes you the short ride from the parking area to the tree plots.

Christmas Tree
And once your ride stops, the rules are simple: chop down anything that isn’t roped off, then wait for a ride to take you back. Unfortunately for us, we wanted a Douglas Fir, which live in the very farthest back patch of trees (although we’d disembarked at the closest patch).

Christmas Tree
There was a sizable celebration when we reached the Douglas Firs.

Christmas Tree
(Maybe slightly-greater-than-sizable.)

Christmas Tree
One tip I would offer if you want to cut your own Christmas tree is to bring a tape measure with you. When they aren’t all neatly stacked and labeled at the farm, it’s kind of tough to tell what size you are getting. We used a method of ‘stand in front of it and put up your arm.’ This method worked okay, but it wasn’t exact. Regardless, we picked a pretty beautiful tree!

Christmas Tree
Once we picked the perfect tree, the guys set to work chopping it down. Hozak provides saws for you, and the one we had was perfectly sharp. The tree chopping was much less dramatic than my memories suggest!

Christmas Tree
In fact, it came down so easily that there was plenty of cause for celebration.

Christmas Tree
Then Michael dragged the tree back up the hill and we waited a short while for the tractor to come back around and pick us up.

Christmas Tree
Back at the home base, you pay for your tree and have it put onto the shaker. This shakes out all the loose twigs, leaves, and grouchy birds that may be living in your tree.

Christmas Tree
Then they load your tree onto the baler.

Christmas Tree
And once your tree is all tied up and ready to go, you can take it home!

All told, the trip took us a little over an hour. We went in the late morning the day after Thanksgiving and seemed to just beat the rush, so I’d say plan for up to 2 hours if it’s crowded (much of which time will be spent waiting for tractors if they are very full).

Christmas Tree
And when you get home, all that’s left to do is decorate!

1 Comment

Filed under #36, #36-14, beaver county, christmas, nature

One Response to Oh, Christmas Tree, Oh, Christmas Tree

  1. Woubbie

    I have fond memories of the one time Bub and I did this! The shaker is hysterical! But the best part was the string wrap. (I don’t remember if we went to Hozak’s or not, but it was baled with twine, not mesh). When we got it home and set it in the stand it was still baled. Bub cut the string, thinking that he’d have to cut it in several places, but the tension was so high that one snip released the entire tree in a big WHOOSH like an umbrella plopping open, only way bigger!

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