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Farm-fresh trees: Gusto's Guide to where you can cut down your own holiday tree

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Treetop Acres The search begins (copy)

Bryan Carroll of Pendleton carries his son, Oliver, 2, and pulls a sled as they begin the search for a Christmas tree with Bryan's wife, Chelsea, their older son, Sullivan, 4, and two daughters, Cliona, 7 (left), and Piper, 5, at Treetop Acres in Lockport.

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Ah, the refreshing smell of trees and evergreens in winter. And while we can buy candles scented with pine, balsalm, spruce, fir and other evergreens, there’s nothing like being out in nature with fresh air and the aromas of winter.

That’s one of the bonuses of heading to a Christmas tree farm to cut our own tree. At least 30 million holiday trees are harvested each year, according to the National Christmas Tree Association, with some estimates up to 36 million a year. (To help fend off any guilt you may have at getting a real tree, one to three seedlings are planted for every tree that is harvested.)

Red Barn Christmas Tree Farm (copy) (copy)

The Red Barn Christmas Tree Farm in Collins has a large variety of trees including Balsam fir, Canaan fir, Concolor fir, Fraser fir, blue spruce trees and even a small section of Korean Fir trees.

Plus, many tree farms have other activities such as horse-drawn rides, visits with Santa and gift shops, so you can make an afternoon of it.

Corner lots are a great convenience, with trees cut in easy-to-manage heights (3, 4, 5 feet etc.), making it easy to know what will work for your house. At a Christmas tree farm, you may pick a beauty, then get it home and learn it doesn’t fit. That brings us to the first of our three quick tips before going out to cut your own tree.

Measure. Find the perfect spot in your house for displaying your tree and measure from floor to ceiling. Then measure all the doorways the tree will need to fit through. We’re not done. Grab a measurement of your car inside the trunk area or flatbed and the roof to see if your tree will fit in one of the three spaces.

What to bring. Start with that all-important tape measure. It’s no good knowing the space you have at home, then cutting a tree that won’t fit. Also, be dressed for the weather and the snow – and that includes footware. Bring work gloves for the cutting and transport of your tree. A tarp, blanket or drop cloth also can help. Check the website of the farm you choose to visit to see what they provide, but generally it’s good to bring rope, twine, scissors and bungee cords.

How can you tell if a tree is fresh? Look for brown patches and dead limbs. Tug on the needles, too. If they start to crumble to the ground, you might want to pass on it. Also examine the tree for any nests and be sure to shake it before bringing it home to dislodge any debris or little creatures like spiders.

John Fuerch, owner and founder of Treetop Acres tree farm in Lockport, gives tips on Christmas tree care.

Where to go

Here is a list of places where you can cut your own tree, as well as buy precut trees and enjoy other activities. When you make your choice of where to go, don't forget to call or look online to make sure they still have stock.

4C Farm. 239 Route 322, South Dayton (716-988-5570). Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Cut your own ends at 4 p.m., precut trees available until closing. Santa visits on Dec. 18. Gift shop with wreaths, kissing balls, garland and table toppers.

Akron Acres. 12607 Stage Road, Akron (716-542-2314). Farm open Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Dec. 23. Cut your own and precut New York State trees available. Country store with wreaths, centerpieces, ornaments, candles, honey and maple products is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. Animal barn open weekends until Dec. 18. Horse-drawn hayrides to the field from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays; $10 per person (ages 2 and younger admitted free) and includes marshmallows for roasting at a bonfire. Santa visits from noon to 3 p.m. Dec. 4 and 11.

Almeters Tree Farm. 2764 Dutch Hollow Road, Strykersville (585-652-0798). Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Dec. 9. Several varieties of trees and wreaths.

Anthony’s Christmas Trees. 4175 Johnson Road, Lockport (716-439-1313). Hours: 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday through Dec. 18. Fresh cut or cut your own. Also wreaths, tree stands and tree bags.

Blasz Tree Farm. 9178 Sisson Highway, Eden (992-3006). Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday for several varieties of cut your own and precut trees; 5 to 7 p.m. Thursdays and Friday for precut only. Also wreaths, bags and tree stands.

Boston Hill Nursery. 7421 Old Lower East Hill Road, Colden (716-662-7411). Hours 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 23. Several varieties of precut and cut your own trees. Smaller potted trees, wreaths and roping also available.

Country Pine Farm. 11996 Humphries Road, Holland (716-537-9327). Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday through Dec. 18. Fresh cut and cut your own. Visit the information shed for map and procedures. Fresh wreaths, garland, kissing balls and tree stands also available. Gift shop includes local and made-in-the-USA items. Free popcorn and refreshments for purchase.

Treetop Acres Tree farm legacy (copy)

John Fuerch, right, and his nephew Brad Paxton carry a Douglas fir tree toward a customer's car at Treetop Acres in Lockport. Paxton has been helping his uncle out at the tree farm since he was 10 years old. Fuerch, who started the business 41 years ago, calls Paxton the next generation of the farm.

Crossen Christmas Tree Farm. 1198 Judge Road, Basom (585-813-8701). Hours: 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends. Fresh cut and cut your own available. Country gift shop, wreaths, swags, kissing balls and centerpieces. Giant sleigh for photo backdrop.

Dixieland Tree Farm. 12189 Versailles-Silver Creek Road, Irving (716-532-3090). Hours: Open daily, noon to 5 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends through Dec. 24. Six varieties of trees, plus wreaths.

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Domes Tree Farm. 4053 Route 39, Bliss (585-322-7262). Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Cut your own tree field, plus precut trees and wreaths. Christmas gift shop.

Erway’s Christmas Tree Adventure. 4202 Willow Road, Wilson (716-751-9602). Hours: noon to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 18. Tree cutting in fields ends at 4:30 p.m. Santa visits from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Dec. 2 and noon to 5 p.m. Dec. 3 and 4. Educational lodge and outdoor live animal viewing included with tree purchase; or $6 per person, age 3 and older, without. Nature Trail Adventure open 8 a.m. to dusk daily. Tree coupon on website.

Field of Dreams Tree Farm. 6550 Vermont Hill Road, South Wales (716-652-7638). Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through the second week in December. Precut and cut your own, many varieties. Also wreaths, kissing balls and tree stands.

Forevergreens. 11398 Bolton Road, Springville (716-560-8004). Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday; weekdays and evenings by appointment only. Precut and cut your own trees. Live potted trees, wreaths, tree stands and bags.

Hill’s Christmas Tree Farm. 13214 Belscher Road, Springville (716-592-5096). Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday until sold out. Precut and cut your own trees. Bakery and gift shop with ornaments, place mats and baskets. Wreaths, centerpieces, potted trees, mantelpieces, table runners and door/wall swags. Also tree stands, wrapping, disposal bags. Hot chocolate and restrooms available.

Hojnacki’s Tree Farm. 757 Schad Road, Alden (585-547-3726). Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday until Dec. 11. Cut your own tree. Call ahead for special fresh wreaths and swags. Homemade cookies and hot chocolate available fireside.

Jake’s Greenhouse Inc. 11904 Route 240, East Concord (716-592-4084). Hours 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily (closes at 5 p.m. Sundays). Precut trees, many varieties. Also wreaths, decorations, tree stands and more. Santa visits from 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 9. (Donations to Oishei’s Children’s Hospital).

Jurek's tree farm in Clarence (copy)

Bring the whole family Christmas tree shopping at places like Jurek's Tree Farm in Clarence.

Jurek Trees. 6600 Strickler Road, Clarence (716-741-3302). Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily through Dec. 22. Indoor heated Candy Cane Café and bathrooms. Wreaths, wreath hangers, tree nutrient, tree stands and bags available. See website for details about other locations at 9170 Transit Road, East Amherst (precut trees sold indoors) and 11370 Hunts Corners Road, Akron (cut your own only).

Kathie & Jerry’s Christmas Tree Farm. 1731 Gowans Road, Angola (716-432-3936). Hours: 2 to 5 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Wreaths and tree stands.

Keenan’s Christmas Tree Farm. 4604 Route 98, North Java (585-457-3326). Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Six types of trees, cut your own and precut, plus wreaths.

Lindstrom’s. 7314 Boston State Road, Hamburg (716-648-2371). Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily through Christmas. Hand-selected precut trees, potted trees, wreaths and poinsettias.

Lockwood’s Greenhouses and Farm. 4484 Clark St., Hamburg (716-649-4684). Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Large varieties of precut trees, plus fresh bough material, winter porch pots, wreaths and poinsettias. Workshops and fully decorated gift shop.

Over The Hill Tree Farm. 9512 Coon Road, Gowanda (716-864-2113). Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Cut your own and precut trees. Handmade wreaths, Christmas balls and centerpieces.

Red Barn Christmas Farm. 14002 Dupont Road, Collins (716-560-6835, 716-548-2739). Hours: noon to 5 p.m. Fridays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Cut your own and precut trees. Wreaths, swags, table runners, mantel greens, table arrangements and unique gifts. Photo props available for holiday pictures.

Roth’s Hillside Tree Farm & Gift Shop. 182 N. Main St., Holland (716-537-9398). Hours: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 11. Precut trees are inside barns while supplies last, or pick your own from 40 acres of trees. Gift shop, wreaths and fresh-cut greens.

Rudolph’s Christmas Trees (also known as Sonricker’s Christmas Trees). 2997 Sonricker Road, Attica (585-535-7133). Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 11.

Stoney Acres Tree Farm. 2110 Hess Road, Appleton (716-946-2261). Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Cut your own and precut trees, handmade wreaths, swags, kissing balls and boughs.

Treetop Acres. 3936 Lower Mountain Road, Lockport (531-2829). Hours: Noon to 5 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday until Dec. 11 or sold out. Compact 23-acre property with 3,000 trees in six varieties. Cash, check and Venmo only. (No change is available for cash purchases – bring $5, $10 and $20 bills.) Choose and cut or full-service cut and deliver (delivery price based on distance).

Trevett Tree Farm. 13028 Trevett Road, Springville (716-954-3401). Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday or by appointment. Horse-drawn wagon rides around the farm from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 3 and 10. Pre-cut and U-cut trees, wreaths and a gift shop.

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