I’m still digesting Thanksgiving leftovers, and I have to think about Christmas trees, you say? Well, no, but if you’re an early bird and want first dibs on the shapeliest firs, Island tree vendors are ready for you now, rain, shine, wind, or—snow?
Formerly last-minute tree grabbers, now my family likes to make the most of our fragrant, sparkly tree-time, so we head out right after Thanksgiving, before the biggest rush weekends in early to mid December. And to support our own community tree businesses, who have some of the precious remaining undeveloped land on the Island, we stay local, as in on Bainbridge Island. Although Christmas tree farming has dwindled here a bit in recent decades, there are still great options, well worth supporting.
Bainbridge Island Farms | 11/24-12/25 | Weekends 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Weekdays 12-5 p.m. | 13610 Manzanita Rd. | 206-842-1429
This bucolic 18-acre farm tucked in on Manzanita Road has been owned and managed by Karen Selvar for the last 21 years, with help from partner Diane Wierzbicki. Wierzbicki explained that they sell fresh U-cut and ready-cut trees from their land, but because they can only produce so many trees each season they supplement their offerings with fresh noble firs they hand-select from Chehalis each year and have delivered, this season on December 3. The farm also sells wreaths.
Step into their cozy barn store for baked goods, hot cocoa, and hot cider pressed from their own apples. Say hi to free-roving farm dogs Lucy and Ricky. In addition to producing Christmas trees, this year-round farm sells asparagus, rhubarb, strawberries, raspberries, pumpkins, and squash.
Grandma’s Tree Farm | 11/26-12/? | Fridays 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Weekends 9 a.m.-4 p.m. | 9490 New Brooklyn Rd. | 206-842-6868
Owned by Tom Coutlas and his wife Diane, Grandma’s Tree Farm sells U-cut and a few ready-cut noble, grand, and Douglas firs, all grown on the property. Tom told me he manages his trees carefully, allowing only so many to be taken each season and closing fields before too many trees have been harvested.
Tom grew up on the property, living there since 1950. He began planting trees in 1981 and sold his first Christmas U-cut trees four years later. You should come prepared to manage largely on their own. Diane explained that some people drop by without saws and tag their trees, coming back later to cut and carry them home. About his trees, Tom said, “Nobles are most the popular, the slowest growers, and the most expensive, so I have to be careful with that field.”
Friends of the Farms | 11/24-12/23 | Weekends 10 a.m.-4 p.m. | Lovgreen at Hwy 305
Friends of the Farms is selling trees again this year at the Morales Farm on the northeast corner of Highway 305 and Lovgreen Road. Harvesting trees from the nearby City of Bainbridge land that was formerly M & E Tree Farm, Friends of the Farms is selling a variety of fresh-cut trees at $5 a foot. Enjoy hot cider and a cozy fire in the fire pit. All proceeds support Friends of the Farms’ work to preserve and enhance local farming.
Other Christmas Tree Vendors on Bainbridge
- Bay Hay & Feedhas nobles and grand firs for sale that are Washington-grown and ready-cut. They also are selling locally made garlands that customers can have cut to size, as well as four sizes of wreaths and hand-made bows: 206-842-2813.
- The Boy Scouts Troop 1565 are selling a variety of ready-cut trees again on High School Road across from Ace Hardware. Sales are through December 9, Monday through Friday 3:30-6:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m. All proceeds benefit the Boy Scouts: 206-842-2441.
- Town & Country Market currently is selling ready-cut trees in its parking lot: 206-842-3848.
Boy Scout Troop 1564 will offer tree pickup and recycling January 5. You can register to have your tree recycled at their website www.treerecycle.net. Donations are requested.
Featured photo of trees at Bainbridge Island Farms. Photos by Julie Hall.
Note: This post is updated from last year with current information for the 2012 Christmas season.