‘Tis the season… to pick your own real Christmas tree

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Every December, buying our Christmas tree is a major event in the acorns’ Advent calendar – and all they want for Christmas is a real Christmas tree! 

For the first time two years ago, we decided to make an experience of it. On a friend’s recommendation, we went and picked our own tree at the Enniskerry Christmas Tree Farm, Co Wicklow.

The place is a working nursery farm, with a field of Christmas trees, and a view over the Great Sugar Loaf. It has no web presence, no advertising, no signposts even.

The friendly staff showed us down to the plantation, so off we went to look for our tree. In-between chasing games and bouts of hide-and-seek, Brian spotted the one – a Nordmann fir, not too tall, bushy enough, perfect. A few minutes later, two men showed up on a quad, quickly cut it down with a chainsaw, and hoisted it up on their trailer.

When we walked back up to the farm shed, our tree was netted and ready for transport. Jedi, Mermaid and Squirrel proudly carried it into the car, already looking forward to decorating it.

Enniskerry Christmas Tree Farm
Kilmolin
Enniskerry
Co Wicklow
Tel. +353 01-2867521
From Enniskerry, take the L1011 signposted for Glencree Reconciliation Centre. Go through the village of Kilmolin and keep driving until you find a small sign for a Pet Cemetery and Nursery. Go up that narrow lane for about 100 metres and it’s the second entrance on the left. 

Several Christmas tree farms in Wicklow and around Ireland offer a ‘choose and cut’ option. Visitors can go out among the trees, find their own and have it cut. Purchasing a tree while it is still in the ground makes sense, as it will last longer than one which was pre-cut and shipped to distant garden centres or Christmas shops. It also makes for a great family day out!

Last year the acorns wanted to up their game and cut themselves our Christmas tree. On arriving at the Glenealy Christmas Tree Farm, they were handed a hand saw and a ribbon, and off we went around the field to choose our ideal number.

They eventually set their eyes on a tall Nordmann fir. Kneeling down on the damp ground, they eagerly took turns with the hand saw, but Brian had to finish it off before they could carry it to the barn to have it netted for the journey home.

Timber!

cutting-Christmas-tree-children-Santa-hats-Glenealy four-children-Santa-hats-carry-Christmas-tree-Glenealy

If you want to walk around the trees, or better still, cut your own, outdoor clothing and sturdy footwear are a must! Think wellies, gloves and waterproof clothes, and maybe even a thermal flask. As Glenealy Farm‘s James Carroll say, ‘there is a reason you don’t see many lumberjacks in high heels’.

Gleanealy Christmas Tree Farm

glenealy-christmas-tree-farmChapel Lane
Glenealy
Co Wicklow
Tel. +353 086 8464515 (James) / +353 087 7421460 (Dave)
Open 1st–20th December 10am–5pm Monday–Thursday, 10am–6pm Friday, 9am–6pm Saturday–Sunday.
In Glenealy, take the turn towards Ashford in front of the garage. Take an immediate and very sharp left down Chapel Lane. The farm is halfway down the lane on your right.

On the farm run by furniture maker James Carroll and his brothers Dave and Andrew, you can choose and chop your ideal Christmas tree in the forest, or adopt a pre-cut tree from the Christmas barn. On busy days, “Handsome Dave” will help you get your dream fir. Caring for their organic trees by hand, the brothers keep a few Shropshire sheep for weeding (also available for petting!), rather than relying on heavy chemicals.

At the weekends, Coffee Express will be serving coffee, hot chocolate, tea and snacks, while blues and jazz expert Andrew plays Christmas tunes on the grand piano in the barn. The red post box will be back beside the sleigh, to send out those special letters to Santa.

Deirdre, of Dee’s Decorations, will again set up her Christmas shop on the farm, selling holly and handmade decorations for several charities. 

Wicklow Way Christmas Tree Farm

wicklow-way-christmas-tree-farm

© Tony Kinlan /Wicklow Way Christmas Tree Farm

Oldbridge
Roundwood
Co Wicklow
Tel. +353 01-9081121
Open every weekend in December 10am–4.30pm.
The farm is well signposted along the R755, from Roundwood to Laragh.
From Roundwood, take the L1059 signposted for Lough Dan all the way to Oldbridge. At the T-junction, turn left towards Laragh and Glendalough. The farm is a few hundred metres up the hill, on the right-hand side, at the Wicklow Way Lodge B&B.

On his farm located 10 minutes from Roundwood, on the side of Scarr Mountain overlooking the Lough Dan valley, sheep farmer Seamus wanted to find a way of keeping around for longer all the things he cared for.

So he thought, ‘how about I grow Christmas trees? They will stay around for more than 10 years and I can really look after them.’ So he decided to plant a field of Christmas trees, and then another, and then another. Thirty years later Seamus and his sheep dog are still planting Christmas trees together.

Take home a Wicklow Mountains Christmas tree this December, and make memories. The farm’s website shows a great video of a baby’s journey into the mountains to find his first Christmas tree. 

Parkmore Christmas Tree Farm

Moneystowparkmore-christmas-trees-001n
Roundwood

Co Wicklow
tel. +353 087 6616758 (Stephen Cowman) / 086 3227116 (Mathew Hickmott) 
Open every weekend in December 11am–4pm.
The farm is well signposted from Roundwood.
Travelling south from Roundwood, take the R764 signposted for
Rathdrum. After 1km keep going straight on the L1076, leaving the R764 on the left. Go straight through the staggered crossroad with the R763, following the signs for Rathdrum. After 1.8km, turn left at a fork over a bridge. After 100 metres turn left again to arrive in Moneystown. With the school and the church on the left, turn right at the next fork and the farm entrance is 100 metres on the right.

Make a day of it with your family, bring your wellington boots and gloves and find that perfect tree amongst the thousands of trees on the farm. Staff will cut it, net it and load it for you. All are welcome, dogs included.  

Read this / A lire  #13 - Letters to Santa / Lettres au Père Noël

Christmas trees have been grown at Parkmore for over 25 years, with the option to choose your own available for the sixth consecutive year. Unusually, they use a special breed of sheep to keep the grass and weeds under control – so you could say their trees are almost organic!

Arklow Christmas Trees

Barnisky Woods
Arklow
Co Wicklow
Tel. +353 086 0336416 (Mervyn) / +353 089 4519641 (Seamus) 
Open every weekend in December 10am–4pm
From the roundabouts at Junction 20 (Arklow North) on the M11, follow the green Christmas tree signposts along the old N11, past Arklow Rugby Club, to Barnisky Woods, which is on the road beside Dempsey Timber Engineering.
Facebook @arklowchristmastrees

It’s nearly that time of year again and Seamus and Mervyn Timmons have been working hard to make sure there are lovely Christmas trees for families to come and pick from.

Arklow Christmas Trees is a small family-run farm with about 13,000 trees currently planted, all at various stages of size.  Father and son Seamus and Mervyn have been growing Christmas trees for the past 10 years, and started harvesting in 2015. Last December was their first year offering families to pick and cut their own tree, and they both were  surprised at how popular it was. Hot chocolate, sweets and other treats are served for free for the kids and the not so little kids. 

New for 2017, the netting machine has been fitted with a handle that even small children can wind, which lets them net their own tree.

Rathcon Christmas Tree Farm

© Rathcon Christmas Tree Farm

Grangecon
Co Wicklow
Tel. +353 083 834 3033
Open every weekend in December 9am–5pm
Facebook @rathconchristmastreefarm
From Grangecon follow the handmade signs to the farm.

Rathcon Christmas Tree Farm in west Wicklow was one of the first farms to grow and harvest Christmas trees in Ireland, planting their first trees in 1989, but it is offering “choose and cut” for the first time this year. Visitors will be sent off to choose their perfect tree with a tinsel stick to attach to it. A member of the Page family will cut it down, net it and help load it. There will also be a selection of pre-cut trees available, as well as wreaths, potted plants and holly.

On this family-run farm, the next generation, an 8 and a 9 year old, will be out helping too and spreading the Christmas cheer. Free hot chocolate will be served to keep people warm. Don’t forget your wellies and warm coats!

Glencullen Christmas Tree Farm

© Tickle Toes Photography

© Tickle Toes Photography

Glencullen
(beside Johnny Fox’s Pub)
Co Dublin
Tel. +353 087 2750678
Open Monday–Thursday 11am–6pm, Friday–Sunday 10am–6pm.
Facebook @GlencullenChristmasTreeFarm

At the highest Christmas tree farm in Ireland, you can walk through the forest to pick your own tree. Once you have decided, wave out to a member of staff, who will put your tree through the netting machine and help you load it into your car. Alternatively, you can choose one of their pre-cut trees.

In the Christmas shed, children (and older kids!) can grab a few sweets. There is also a sleigh and a Santa train, which visitors can use to take their own Christmas photos.

This year Glencullen Christmas Tree Farm are supporting Ireland’s children’s hospice LauraLynn.

Killakee Christmas Tree Farm

killakee-christmas-tree-farmKillakee Road (Old Military Road)
Dublin 16
Tel. +353 01-5312966
Open 2nd–23rd December 10am–4pm (please check here for exact opening times)
From the M50 take Exit 12. At the top of the slipway turn for Firhouse. At the next main junction with lights turn left for Killakee. Go straight through 2 roundabouts and then the road turns into the countryside. Follow this road to a T-junction at Gunny Hill and turn left uphill. At the top of the hill, turn right at the T-junction onto Killakee Road. Killakee Christmas Tree Farm is the 4th entrance on the right.

This is a family-run, sustainable Christmas tree farm located in the foothills of the Dublin Mountains. For over a decade, it has become tradition for families to take a walk through the forest, enjoy the breathtaking views of the city and pick the perfect Christmas tree.

Come wrapped up warm and with suitable footwear – wellies recommended. Upon entering the farm, take a ribbon. Wander around the Christmas tree farm to pick your own perfect tree, and tie it with the piece of ribbon. Wave out to one of the Killakee Christmas Tree Farm staff who will come and cut the tree down for you. Get ready to shout ‘Timber’!

Slade Valley Christmas Tree Farm

@ Slade Valley Christmas Tree Farm

© Slade Valley Christmas Tree Farm

Slade Valley
(opposite the entrance to
Slade Valley Golf Club)
Brittas
Co Dublin
Tel. +353 087 9250064
Open every day until 24th December 10am–5.30pm.
Facebook @SladeValleyChristmasTreeFarm

This Christmas tree farm located on the outskirts of Dublin has been run by the Byrne family for two decades. Their trees are farmed organically by using Shropshire sheep and geese to maintain the grass.

‘We have been doing “choose & cut” for the last 5-6 years’, farmer Michael Byrne explains. ‘Kids especially enjoy running around the trees.’ Families who wish to choose their own are given a coloured ribbon to attach to the fir of their choice.

Read this / A lire  #9 - Christmas cookies / Biscuits de Noël

Wade’s Christmas Tree Farm

Boggyheary
The Rath
Swords
K67TC97
Co Dublin
Tel. +353 087 2503178
Facebook 
Open every day in December 10am–4pm
From Swords, take the first left after Kettles Country House Hotel and follow the signs. The farm is located on Rath Lane, halfway between Swords and Asbourne.

Wade’s Christmas Tree Farm is a family-run business, where you can come and pick your own tree as it is grown in the wood and they will wrap it up and put it in your car.

Don’t forget your Santa hat!

field-Christmas-trees-Wicklow-Ireland

Elsewhere in Ireland

The Christmas Tree Farm, Wexford

Ballygarrett
(outside Gorey)
Co Wexford
Tel. +353 087 8123979
Open 2nd-4th December and 8th–23rd December 10am–5pm.

It is the second season in business for this family-run Christmas tree farm based just outside of Gorey. The Quinn family planted their first lot of Christmas trees back in 2010 and have spent the last number of years pruning, shaping and growing them.

Once you’ve chosen the perfect tree for you, they will cut it and place it in their tractor sleigh. There’s room for everybody on board, with seats for kids and well, bigger kids! Afterwards enjoy a complimentary hot drink of tea, coffee or hot chocolate before taking the tree home to decorate.

Wheelock Christmas Tree Farm, Wexford

Moneyhore
Borovale
Enniscorthy
Co Wexford
Tel. +353 086 2629034
Open every day in December 9am–5pm
Facebook @WheelockChristmasTreeFarm

Come visit Wheelock’s Christmas tree forests in Moneyhore near Enniscorthy. Here you can spend as much or as little time as you want searching for and finding your perfect Christmas tree. When you have found it, you can watch it being felled and loaded “field fresh” into your car.

If you don’t feel like searching you can can pick a tree from our pre-cut stock in the yard.

Christmas wreaths, either decorated or not, are available for purchase to add that festive feeling to your doors.

Kelleher’s Christmas Tree Farm, Kildare

© Kelleher’s Christmas Trees

Boleybeg
Brannockstown
Naas
Co Kildare
Tel. +353 087 2453795
Open 2nd–22nd December 9am–5pm.

Located 20 minutes’ drive from Naas and 50 minutes from Dublin, this family farm offers an excellent selection of high quality Noble fir and Nordmann fir trees.

You can select a fresh tree from the display area in the farm yard, or take a walk through the forest, pick your own and have it cut for you there and then.

Meadow Lane Farm, Galway

galway-christmas-trees1Gloves East
Athenry
Co Galway
Tel. +353 087 2672386
Open every day until 24th December 9am–5pm.

Customers have been visiting Meadow Lane Farm for over 10 years. Owners Jacquie and Martin Lynskey see whole generations every Christmas – couples get married, then come back with their first child, then their growing family. ‘Our farm has become part of our customers’ Christmas tradition and they say that it’s not Christmas till they’ve been out to us!’

Should you forget your wellies, there is a supply of all sizes on the farm! Take one of the signature red ribbons, and off you go to pick the tree just right for you. Staff will help tie your tree in or on your car. Complimentary tea and coffee, as well as mulled wine at the weekend, are available in the Christmas cabin, to the sound of Christmas music.

Killarney Christmas Tree Company, Kerry

killarney-christmas-treesKnocknasartnett
Ballyhar Road
Killarney
Co Kerry
Tel. +353  087 2621530 (Nick)
Open every day 9am–7pm.

This drive-through Christmas tree farm offers a ‘choose & cut’ experience for families wishing to select their own tree while it is still growing. This service needs to be booked in advance and selection must take place before 6th December.

Limerick Christmas Trees, Limerick

© Limerick Christmas Trees

Glendiheen

Ardagh
V42 EA49
Co Limerick
Tel.+353 086 3991036

When you visit this Christmas tree farm, you will be able to walk around the growing live trees, choose one and cut it using a supplied saw. If you are unable to cut it yourself, staff will cut it for you, before netting it to make it easier to take home. Trees with roots are also available. This is the first and only Christmas tree farm in County Limerick to operate a ‘choose & cut’ service.

Limerick Christmas Tree Farm also offers potted Christmas trees. These trees, approx 17-24 inches in height, are ideal for decorating and keeping inside. After Christmas you can plant outside or keep growing them in a larger pot. 

Also available 3 to 4 ft trees cut or with roots choose your tree from the field direct from the grower, you can be sure that our trees have not been cut weeks in advance

Lorum Old Rectory, Carlow

Kilgraney
Clowater
Bagenalstown
Co Carlow
(watch out  for the signs at the yard entrance on the R705)
Tel. +353 086 8509644
Open 2nd–3rd December, 10–11th December and 17–18th December 9am–4.30pm.
 
The Christmas tree farm at Lorum Old Rectory will give a small kiddies tree (80-100cm high) for free with every big tree of 5ft and more bought.

   

#LoveaRealTree

love-a-real-treeAlmost half of Irish households say they will be buying a real Irish Christmas tree this year, with up to 400,000 trees expected to be sold throughout the country in the run up to the big day. A survey on behalf of the Irish Christmas Tree Growers Association (ICTGA, on Facebook @lovearealtree) reveals that 44% of consumers are likely to opt for the real deal this festive season, with the average spend per tree €43. 
 
Families are being encouraged to choose an Irish-grown tree by looking for the Love A Real Tree label which proves the tree was grown by an ICTGA member.

 

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