Whether choosing and cutting your own Christmas tree is a decades-old ritual in your family or a new addition to your holiday tradition, consult our guide to find a location in Long Island, including Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
Before you visit any of these Christmas tree farm, here are some tips - or reminders - to help you and your loved ones get the most out of the experience.
1. First, make sure to dress in warm, practical clothing when visiting any of these locations - a sturdy pair of shoes is an essential accessory for every member of the family.
2. Before you pack the gang into the car, call or visit the Web site of your intended destination to check that weather conditions are favorable and that the type of tree you're looking for is still available-this becomes more important as it gets closer to Christmas when the snow really starts to fly and the tree supply has been picked over (some locations may sell out of trees before their listed close date).
3. Most farms allow dogs, but call to check before you pack up your pet.
4. Check to see if the tools you'll need, like a saw and netting to pack up your tree, are provided. Most farms provide you with tools and optional assistance in cutting down and carrying your tree, but it's best to be prepared. If you have to bring your own tools, opt for a handsaw and steer clear of axes or chainsaws, as they're usually not allowed.
5. When you've chosen your tree, cut it as close to the ground as possible so you'll have enough trunk left to cut it a second time at home. This second cut allows the tree to soak up more water, which makes for a healthier, greener tree come Christmas morning.
6. Once your tree is placed in your home, keep the room temperature a bit lower, around 65 degrees (or at least keep the tree away from direct heat), to help keep it looking and smelling fresh throughout the holiday season.
7. Water your tree daily. Fresh trees tend to be very thirsty, so check your tree regularly to make sure the base is always covered with water.
Click here for our complete 2009 Guide
For other region-specific guides, visit: Southeast New York; Fairfield County, Connecticut; New Jersey
WHERE TO CUT YOUR OWN TREE IN LONG ISLAND
Carter Christmas Tree Farm
123 North Country Road, Miller Place
Open November 21 to start tagging trees, open weekends 9am-5pm through December 20. Tools provided.
Dart's Christmas Tree Farm
2355 Main Bayview Road, Southold
Open daily, November 27 through Christmas Eve, 9am-5pm. Precut trees also available. Hayrides, hot chocolate, snacks, handmade wreaths, tree cutting supplies, and friendly elves to cut and carry your tree for you.
Grandpa Tony's Tree Farm
305 Weeks Avenue, Manorville
516-639-3587 or 631-874-9006; www.grandpatonystreefarm.com
Open November 27 through December daily, 8am-5pm.
812 Sound Avenue, Wading River
Free wagon rides. Open November 28 through December 20 daily, 9am-5pm.
Matt's Christmas Tree Farm
309 Weeks Avenue, Manorville
Open daily November 27 through Christmas Eve, 8am-4:30pm. Tools and assistance provided.
Mike's Christmas Tree Farm
323 Weeks Avenue, Manorville
Opening November 27 at 10am; open November 28 through Christmas Eve daily, 8am-5pm. Precut trees and fresh wreaths also available. Tree wrapping and saws provided.
Muller's Christmas Tree Farm
338 Woodland Avenue, Manorville
Open December 5-6 and 12-13, 9am-dark. Christmas shop with wood stove, Santa's chair, and other photo opportunities.
Santa's Christmas Tree Farm
30105 Main Road, Cutchogue
Open November 27 through December, 9am-5pm. Tools and assistance provided. Santa appearances on weekends; Christmas shop on premises.
Shamrock Christmas Tree Farm
20685 Main Road, Mattituck
631-298-4619 or 631-298-4118; www.shamrockchristmastreefarm.com
Open November 27 through Christmas Day, 9am-5pm. Tools and assistance provided. Precut trees, handmade wreaths, and crafts also available. Santa appearances on weekends, 12-5pm. Shamrock Express train rides. Complimentary cup of hot chocolate and bag of popcorn on weekends, with purchase.
Tilden Lane Farm
48 Wyckoff Street, Greenlawn
Open weekends only through mid-December, 9am-3pm.