If you live in Canton, need a Christmas tree and prefer to “buy local,” it couldn’t be much easier.
There are numerous places to purchase trees in Canton. Consumers can support a good cause, take home everything from a “Charlie Brown” special to a 12-foot giant or sink the teeth of a saw into a living trunk and then enjoy a cup of hot cider fresh off the wood stove.
On Canton Springs Road, the Canton Volunteer Fire Co. Inc. is selling trees to benefit the Canton Food Bank, said association member Corey Russo. The fraser firs are grown by a firefighter in Voluntown. Years ago, the association sold trees on the Canton Green, and this is the first year in many the effort has begun again, Russo said. The start was modest with just 100 trees but the food bank really needs help this year, Russo said.
“There are a lot of people that are at wits’ end,” he said.
Prices start at $45 for 6 ½- to 8-foot trees. Eight to nine foot trees are $60 and nine to 10-footers are $100.
At 225 Barbourtown Road, Red Oak Landscaping began planting trees in 1989.
“We’ve been growing ever since,” said Frederic Cowles IV, who farms the land with his father.
The business, also home to Barbourtown Sugar Farm, offers several varieties such as White Spruce, Colorado Blue Spruce and Balsam and Fraser Firs. Customers can cut their own tree or purchase a pre-harvested one. They also sell wreaths, roping and garlands.
Red Oak is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends and by chance on weekdays.
A decidedly traditional tree experience also exists at 225 Cherry Brook Road. Here, patrons can also cut their own tree and enjoy a cup of hot cider when finished, at least for one more weekend.
Members of the Humphrey family are continuing a tradition as the family began farming the land in 1742 and has sold trees since 1978.
The farm has a “tremendous amount of memories" for Marianne Burbank, daughter of the late Sam Humphrey. Burbank said it’s also a great tradition for her family and others.
“Many people come back year after year,” she said. “It’s just a nice family thing to do together.”
John and Amy Dillon have been coming to the farm for 15 years and in that time have had three girls grow up with the experience.
Jessica and Justin Olewnik of Simsbury have cut their own trees for four years, this being the first at the farm.
“It’s good memories,” Jessica Olewnik said.
This is the last year of an agreement with the new farm owner to continue selling trees. Burbank said she is unsure of what will happen for next year but she hopes it continues. Trees are $40 and will be sold this coming weekend and possibly the one after. Hours are 9 a.m. to dark.
Nearby in Canton Center at 11 Humphrey Road is Case’s Farm, which has been selling trees for at least 15 years, Bonnie Case said. Offered are cut-your-own varieties for $30 as well as pre-cut trees of varying prices, as well as wreaths, roping and kissing balls. Hours are 8:30 to 4:30 p.m. daily.
In North Canton on Cherry Brook Road, across from the North Canton Fire Station, is Hugh Brown’s Christmas Tree Farm.
Last weekend his grandson-in-law Mike Bertoli worked the farm, selling trees and serving hot apple cider straight off the wood stove in the sugar shack.
“I love doing this,” Bertoli said. “It’s sort of a family business.
The farm is not likely to sell trees beyond this weekend but weather permitting will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Cost is $30 per tree. Saws are provided and hot cider is free for customers.
Matt Bahre has been selling trees on the corner of routes 44 and 179 for 20 years now.
“I like doing it — like meeting people,” he said.
Halfway through his years selling, he started using some of the proceeds to benefit his Jaycee/TD Bank North Baseball League team. Bahre no longer has the team but said he still supports area baseball teams and recently gave some old equipment to an orphanage in the Philippines.
In addition to Canadian Balsam trees, he features other products including wreaths made by Daren Hall of Hall’s Farm.
The stand is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the week and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekends.
On Route 44 near the Simsbury line is "Canadian Balsam Trees." Donald and Germain Desrosiers have been selling trees on Route 44 for 44 years now.
Germain owns a 400-acre farm in Quebec, where the family takes care of some 45,000 trees. They sell a variety of trees include spruces, fraser and balsam firs and others. Trees start at $12 and go up to multiple hundreds of dollars. Sizes range from a 12 inches to 12 feet. In addition, roping, kissing balls and wreaths are available.
Riverside Nursery and Twin Gardens and Twin Landscaping, Inc. also sell many holiday items, including trees.
For every tree it sells, Twin Gardens donates to $5 to Canton Little League, Canton Youth Basketball, Canton Youth Soccer Association or Canton Youth Lacrosse.