I’ve been asked a lot where we found our organic Christmas tree farm so I thought I would do a post about it! If you didn’t read my other post on why we buy an organic Christmas tree (and lead free Christmas lights) click here. The main driver is I didn’t want to bring a tree into our house that had been sprayed with pesticides and Roundup had used on (as most are). In my previous post I have a link to organic Christmas tree farms in different states. Some states don’t have much listed like my state of Washington. Here is what I have found so far. We live in the city so finding something that was a reasonable drive from Seattle was important to me.
- The only certified organic u-cut Christmas tree farm in the state is Misty Meadows. They are primarily a chicken and egg farm but have the trees for December. They are northeast of Bellingham. A great choice for those that live north but a bit of a drive for those of us that live in Seattle (at least an hour and a half) or to the south.
- Fall City Tree Farm is not certified organic but they do not spray or use ground fertilizer. What they told me is that they do lose a small percentage of trees due to various diseases, insets and deer. At this point they don’t use any chemicals but since they are trying to make a living they have always said that if necessary they would go with chemicals (except insecticides). They haven’t had to do any of this up to this point. They don’t have any entertainment except usually a bonfire blazing, homemade doughnuts and cider. We haven’t been here yet but this is the tree farm we will be going to this year. Update: for the 2014 year this farm isn’t opening until December 6th. We like to get our tree the weekend of Thanksgiving so we are going to try another farm this year.
- The Country Tree Farm We went to this tree farm, it’s really run down and the trees are huge (like 30-50 feet huge). I don’t recommend going here. They do not use any chemicals at all (no sprays and no ground chemicals like Roundup). This farm is in Renton and has been family owned for 30 years. They have been chemical free for about the last 5 years when the daughter started taking over the farming for her parents. They did mention that the address is hard to see and a little covered by trees so keep that in mind when heading there.
- Bill Pace Fruit and Produce has pre-cut Christmas trees that use no checmials at all. They said that they are organic but not certified. All of the trees are at their year around market and the address is listed on their site. This was the only pre-cut Christmas trees I could find. We ended up getting our tree here after leaving The Country Tree Farm very disappointed. They are open until 7pm so we were still able to get a tree after dark 🙂
- Silver Star Christmas Tree Farm sells certified organic Noble Firs that are delivered to your door. They cut the trees they day they are delivered so you are sure to get a fresh tree. They harvest the seeds from their trees to make sure that every step is organic. This is a great option for those that don’t want to deal with trekking out to get a tree, getting it on your car, and back in your house. The price seems to be the same as if you went to a tree farm.
- Carnation Tree Farm is certified Salmon Safe. You can read about their green farming practices . After sending several emails back and forth, and them saying that they used no sprays and were Salmon Safe, I did find out that they use Roundup as a weed control mostly around their new seedlings. This was a bummer to find out. They told me that they plant approximately 2,000 seedlings each year spread out throughout the property. I asked if they only used it the first year and they said it depends on the growth and size of the trees. They have a gift shop in a portion of the barn and they have Santa there as well. They have a small unheated sheltered area where local groups do bake sales and people can get out of the weather if needed. The bottom line is that they do not spray their trees but do use Roundup around the trees (which you will be walking in and I’m sure gets to the trees). A friend went to this tree farm and said it was super cute.
- Keith & Scott Tree Farm when I called them they told me that they do not spray any chemicals or use any ground fertilizer like Roundup. This looks like a cute little farm and a great place to find a tree!
- Bowen Tree Farm is not certified organic but claims to be sustainable. This is where we had been going for the past several years. I quizzed them before we went there several years ago and they didn’t spray or use any chemicals. I asked again when we were there last year and they had told me that had a fungus issue on some of the trees and almost lost half of their trees that year. I emailed them this year and sadly they had to spray half of their trees this year. Here is what they said: They were hit hard with a fungus on their Grand Firs which has forced them to use a fungicide in the early bud break (late May to early June). This prevents the needle necrosis that presents as yellow needles covering the trees (which makes them unable to sell those trees). With our warm wet climate it is getting worse so they will be forced to use this spray annually or not grow Grand Firs which accounts for over half of their tree sales. My opinion on this is that they are only spraying once but the Grand Firs and Noble Firs are right next to each other. So while they aren’t spraying the Noble Firs I’m sure the spray is getting onto them since they are right next to each other. I can’t say how bummed I am about this as this was the cutest farm with a very friendly family running it. They have a cute cottage with lots of handmade gifts for a sale at reasonable prices and a huge river rock outdoor fireplace to keep warm. Sadly, we won’t be continuing our tradition of going there each year.
- Another option for the adventurous is always getting a permit from the national forest service and getting your tree that way. It’s an inexpensive way, I believe $5, to get a Christmas tree but it’s a drive from the city and a hike in and out to get your tree. More information can be found here.
I hope this list was helpful. If you know of any organic or sustainable / non chemical using tree farms please let me know!