Buying a hand-harvested tree for the holidays is easier than you think. So you’ve decided you want a real tree this Christmas season. Whether you were swayed by their environmental benefits, their show-stopping splendor, or the sweet, spicy smell of Balsam, a real Christmas tree can be the heart of your holiday home. Here’s where to look in Calgary to bring the outdoors in.
Have it delivered.
Fresh, fragrant Balsam fir delivered right to your door? With Porter River Christmas Trees, it’s just that simple. Porter River, owned by John and Andrew MacIsaac, delivers top-quality Christmas trees to customers in central Alberta throughout the holiday season. The trees are grown in a natural forest environment in eastern Nova Scotia and cared for over a period of 8 to 12 years. John MacIsaac believes this authentic approach is what makes real Christmas trees a cut above.
“We saw a need for people to have access to a real tree,” he says. “We wanted to make it easier for people to enjoy that.”
Delivery is included in the cost of the tree, and they will even set it up for you. Check out their “extras,” including Balsam fir wreaths, garland and fir tips.
Tip: Porter River offers a curbside pick-up and recycling service after the holiday season. Alternatively, you can take advantage of the city’s free Christmas Tree Recycling Program at one of their drop-off locations. Residents may also use their Green Bin for trunks less than 6” diameter.
Porter River Christmas Trees, 403-836-6634, porterriverbalsam.ca
Pick it up.
Feeling a bit more hands-on? Calgarians can find any number of pop-up lots selling Christmas trees in varying shapes, heights and prices. Many local big-box stores buy in bulk from Christmas tree farms in Canada and the US, offering quality conifers for a reasonable price.
You can also find independent Christmas tree lots throughout the city, like Calgary Christmas Trees, which has two locations in the deep southeast. Owners Darren Aiken and Ben Alle ship hundreds of premium Balsam fir trees to Alberta from a family-owned and operated farm in Erinville, Nova Scotia. The Doyle family has been planting, growing and harvesting trees for more than 80 years, with retail buyers throughout Canada and the US. Aiken and Alle have operated their Calgary lot since 2010.
“We have lots of returning customers, mostly families, who come back each year,” says Aiken. “There’s an excitement to buying a real tree.”
Tip: Ask your Christmas tree seller for a fresh cut upon purchase to help your tree stay straight and absorb water. Water your tree often for better needle retention.
Calgary Christmas Trees, calgarychristmastree.com
Tree Lot #1 — 755 Lake Bonavista Drive SE
Tree Lot #2 — 70 Shawville Blvd. SE
Cut it down.
Looking for adventure? The family-owned and operated Raven Ridge Tree Farm in Rocky Mountain House has been in the “Choose & Cut” business for 25 years. After your trek to find a beautiful Balsam fir, Scots pine or White spruce, visit Raven Ridge’s Christmas workshop for wreaths, European glass ornaments, and farm tours. (Don’t forget the hot apple cider.)
Or, venture west of the city where the Calgary Junior Forest Wardens operate a Christmas Tree cutting lot every weekend from late November until mid-December. Pick your own pine for a small fee with the help of the Junior Forest Wardens.
For the truly outdoorsy type, grab your ax and answer nature’s call in an approved forest area. Just be sure to check the local weather before venturing into the woods!
Tip: To cut your own tree, you will need to purchase a permit from Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development.
Raven Ridge Tree Farm, 403-722-3207, ravenridgetrees.com
Calgary Junior Forest Wardens, ajfwa.ca
Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, extranet.gov.ab.ca/env/treecuttingpermits
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