Choose-and-cut Christmas trees in Sonoma County.
Shopping for a Christmas tree should be fun, but crowds at busy Bay Area tree lots can detract from the pleasure. Consider heading to Sonoma County, where some 50 farms let you select and cut the tree of your choice.
Most are concentrated in or near Petaluma, Sonoma, and Sebastopol, with a few around Healdsburg. You can reach the first of these in less than an hour from San Francisco via U.S. 101.
Make a day of it. The rolling hills should be carpeted with green from fall rains; the weather can be brisk and startlingly clear. Sonoma also boasts a wealth of wineries for tasting and parks for picnicking. Some of the farms sell several different kinds of tree, among them Bishop and Monterey pines, Douglas fir, and sequoia; they also supply the saws. A few have animals for children to visit, or sell juices, fruit preserves, wreaths, and ornaments. Prices for trees should be $18 to $24 for sizes up to 12 feet. Go soon; most farms are small and sell out quickly.
A free map from Sonoma County Farm Trails pinpoints 20 tree farms and includes addresses, telephone numbers, and hours. It also lists nearly 150 businesses, including apple growers, nurseries, wineries, cheese and sausage shops. For a copy, send a stamped, self-addressed business-zie envelope to Sonoma County Farm Trails, Box 6674, Santa Rosa 95406.
California Christmas Tree Growers has a free brochure listing 11 members in Sonoma County. For a copy, send a stamped, self-addressed business-size envelope to Box 1752, Lafayette 94549. (The brochure lists tree growers in 30 northern California counties.)
Or, as you're out driving, watch along U.S. 101, state highways 37 and 6, Sebastopol Road, and Guerneville Highway for signs to tree farms.
Photo: Tractor-towed trailerful of children heads into 6-acre farm in Sonoma County to look for just the right Yule tree
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|Date:||Dec 1, 1984|
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