Christmas tree farms sell out entire stock over weekened |

Christmas tree farms sell out entire stock over weekened

Emily Aughinbaugh, Tribune staff writer

Two of the largest Christmas tree farms on the West Slope opened and closed this weekend, selling their entire stock.

McGee Christmas Tree Farm and Carson Ridge Tree Farm are two of more than 30 farms that experienced a bigger demand for the seasonal trees than they could supply.

Phyllis McGee, owner of McGee’s farm, would not disclose how many trees her farm sold this weekend, but said this year’s crop was small.

“We had a big turnout Thanksgiving weekend,” McGee said. “Unfortunately we only have so many trees in the ground.”

McGee said picking and cutting one’s own tree is becoming more and more popular. All West Slope tree farms grow their own trees instead of selling the trees precut.

Irene Harris, owner of Harris Tree Farm in Pollock Pines, said her family’s farm has plenty of trees still available. However, Harris advises people to get out this weekend, because the silver tips are going fast.

Harris said her family was one of the original growers in El Dorado County, selling trees since 1961.

“We get a lot of people coming back year after year,” Harris said. “We always have a big demand for silver tip.”

Harris Tree Farm sells Douglas and white firs, silver tips and sequoias.

McGee said Douglas firs are the most fragrant and bushy and the silver tips’ branches are more spread apart and sturdy to hold heavier ornaments.

Harris would not disclose how much she charges for her trees, but the farm does sell the trees by the foot.

Harris Tree Farm furnishes saws for cutting and sells wreaths, apple pies, cider, jams and jellies.

For those who want to head south instead of west for tree-cutting fun, the Bridgeport Ranger District will sell permits until Dec. 22 to cut trees in Alpine County.

Permits with maps of cutting locations must be obtained in person at the Carson Ranger District, 1536 S. Carson St., Carson City.

Permits cost $5 each with a limit of one per household and are valid through Dec. 25. They are not refundable, so the Forest Service recommends cutting trees as soon as permits are acquired.

When cutting trees the Forest Service suggests bringing warm clothing, a rope or chain, shovel and tire chains in case of bad weather.

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