Make family memories at Christmas tree farms — and other places to buy a live Christmas tree in the Champaign-Urbana area
There is nothing quite like heading to a Champaign-Urbana area Christmas tree farm to pick out the perfect Christmas tree. Whether you want to cut your own Christmas tree or you prefer to choose from a selection of fresh-cut trees, our handy guide will help you find the best tree farms near you. And many of the area farms offer unique experiences to make your visit even more memorable.
A few tips before you go out to get your live Christmas tree:
– Some farms only take cash or checks.
– Trees sell out. Go early for the best selection.
– Some places allow dogs but remember to ask if you’re not sure.
– Some places allow you to cut your own tree; others do it for you. Most do not allow chainsaws.
– Tree farms can be difficult to find, so do your research and bring your sense of humor. We’ve provided links to help. Get your GPS ready and go find the perfect tree.
– Dress appropriately!
– Be on the look out for this year’s updated information about how to recycle a live Christmas tree.
PLACES TO CUT YOUR OWN TREE NEAR CHAMPAIGN-URBANA:
Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch, Rantoul: Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch has choose-and-cut Christmas trees, as well as Fraser from North Carolina and Douglas Fir, Scotch and White Pine from Indiana. It has saws, a tree shaker and baler for your convenience. Tree sales begin the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. There will be no tall trees this year and just a 1-2 week supply of trees this year. Check the website for hours. Of course, you can see some reindeer while you’re there; read our tips on what to know.
Pheasant Ridge Farms, Urbana: This small farm located south of Urbana will be open for choose and cut Christmas trees this 2023 season starting Saturday, December 2 at 10 am until 4 pm. It will be open on the following Sundays and Saturdays 10 am until 4 pm. They have a limited selection of trees available this year, and are only selling choose and cut trees.
Helmig’s Tree Farm, Saybrook: Multiple varieties and sizes of choose and cut and pre-cut trees; saws are available. Helmig’s will shake, bale and tie your tree to the roof of your vehicle. Pre-cut trees, wreaths, ornaments and commemorative mugs for sale as well. Opening day is Friday, Nov. 24 from 10 am to 5 pm. During opening weekend, hot food, cookies and hot chocolate will be available. For more information on tree variety, location, etc. visit the website www.helmigstreefarm.com.
Four E’s Trees, Mt. Zion: Four E’s is open daily from November 24 until December 10, 2023. Weather can affect those hours. Bring the family, find and cut your own unique tree, or choose from one of their pre-cut varieties.White pine and scotch pine are available in the choose and cut field; balsam trees will be available on Nov. 24. A family owned business for more than 50 years, they offer wreaths and more.
Phillips Christmas Trees, Heyworth: This choose-and-cut Christmas tree farm located south of Bloomington will not be open during the 2023 season.
PLACES TO BUY A LIVE TREE IN CHAMPAIGN-URBANA AND BEYOND (no cutting needed):
Tate’s Trees, Champaign: Opening day is Monday, Nov. 20, open daily 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. until sell out (closed on Thanksgiving). Located north of Champaign on Mattis Avenue. Several varieties available. Offering limited delivery as well as tree pickup and recycling.
Country Arbors Nursery, Urbana: Pre-cut Christmas trees, greens, wreaths, grave blankets, live trees and garland will be available at the nursery starting on November 17; online pre-sales began Nov. 1. Country Arbors offers online ordering as well as delivery (for a fee) to select zip codes. Check its Facebook page for availability and other details.
4EverGreen Tree Company, Bondville: Friends Joe and Pat will be selling pre-cut Christmas trees and wreaths in a pop-up shop along Route 10. Opening Nov. 24, its hours may be changing this year. Last year it was open Fridays and Saturdays 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., and Sundays noon – 6 p.m. (Be sure to check its social media for any changes to these hours before heading out.) Enjoy coffee, hot chocolate, cookies, and candy canes while picking out your Fraser Fir or White Pine.
No Bad Days Farm, Shelbyville: Pre-cut Christmas trees available beginning Nov. 18. In the past, it has had a variety of 6-7 feet, 7-8 feet and 8-9 feet Fraser Fir, Nordman, Scotch and Concolor pines. No Bad Days also has fresh wreaths as well as grave pillows and blankets. Open weekends from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., as well as the day after Thanksgiving.
Sunset Christmas Tree Farm, Mansfield: Pre-cut Fraser and Concolor Firs ranging in size from 3 feet up to 12 feet, wreaths, swags, grave pillows and roping all made at the farm. Opening day is Friday, Nov. 24; open 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until sell out. Note: Sunset does not plan to sell any choose-and-cut your own trees for the next few years.
Would you consider driving to southern Illinois into Shawnee National Forest to cut down your own Christmas tree for only $5? Click here for details.
PLACES NOT CONFIRMED FOR 2023:
Forest Hills Tree Farm, Danville: Was closed for the 2022 Christmas season.
Illini Foresters, Urbana: This sale has not happened since 2019; no info available for the 2023 season. In past years Illini Foresters sold a small number of trees at Race and Windsor in Urbana. Tree sales typically started in early December until sell out. Check the NRES Facebook page.
C-U Optimist Club, Champaign: The Optimist Club has not held its sale for a handful of years now. In past years, it sold trees under a tent at the corner of Springfield and Mattis (Country Fair shopping center). Tree sales typically started after Thanksgiving until sell out. Proceeds benefited events, programs and charities that serve local children.
Did we leave your favorite tree farm off our list? Do you have a tree buying tip that our readers need to know? Let us know!
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