In our house, the official kick-off to the holiday season is the day we buy our Christmas tree.
For years we had an artificial one, but after two basement floods in as many years it was pretty much done for. We chucked it in 2010 and decided to start putting up a live tree.
There are so many places in Champaign-Urbana to purchase a Christmas tree, ranging from choosing and cutting your own on a farm to picking one out from a wide selection at a big-box store.
We asked you where you get your trees, and here’s what you told us! Just one note: Many of these farms are “off the beaten path,” meaning that information about their hours and location is somewhat vague. If you have better information or know anything else about any of these farms, please drop us a line or leave that info in the comments.
Moore’s Christmas Tree Farm, Urbana: Open through Dec. 21, Monday through Friday, 12 to 5 p.m., and weekends from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. They accept credit and debit cards, and cash. No checks, please!
Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch: Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch in Rantoul has more than five acres of Christmas trees, and as a bonus, you can visit with some real live reindeer! You can purchase a tree right up to Christmas Eve here, as well. The ranch is open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Dec. 24.
Seifert Tree Farm: This White Heath farm started growing Christmas trees in 1922! You can choose from and cut down a variety of trees, or choose from a pre-cut selection. They are open up through Dec. 23, from 12 to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday and on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Geil Homestead: This Mahomet farm is open “during daylight hours,” according to the proprietor. There is no website for this farm, but the address is 2060B CR 125 East, Mahomet. The phone number is 217-586-3895.
Sunset Christmas Tree Farm: This seems to be a Chambana favorite, if the comments on our Facebook page are any indication. This Mansfield tree farm is open only on the weekends: from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; however, their Facebook page says that you may be able to call and arrange for a weekday visit.
Tate’s Trees: We could not find one single Google result for Tate’s Trees in Illinois, but our Facebook fans sure do like to buy their trees there! One reader tells us they are off Mattis Road headed toward Fisher. If anyone else out there knows anything about Tate’s please let us know!
Downing Christmas Tree Farm: A no-frills tree farm, Downing Tree Farm is located in Mahomet. Our reader tells us to take 150 west of Mahomet and turn left at the sign.
Prairie Gardens: Plenty of folks said they like the selection of pre-cut Christmas trees available from this Champaign store. A Balsam will run you about $20 at the Springfield Ave. location.
Boy Scout Sales: We don’t currently have any information about which local Boy Scout troops are selling trees this season, but if we find out we will be sure to let you know. We called the Champaign-Urbana home office for scouts, and they let us know that the sales are done by individual troops. If you know of a Boy Scout tree sale, please let us know!