The evergreen scene
Our list will help you pick (or chop down) your own pine this season
Whether you're looking to rival Clark Griswold with the grandest tree on the block or are satisfied with a Charlie Brown style sapling, you'll be able to find the perfect greenery this season at one of these Christmas tree vendors.
Cut your own
Anderson Tree Farm
An easy 45-minute drive from the Loop, this farm provides a variety of trees and a farm full of animals—including a zedonkey (half-zebra, half-donkey) named Julio—worth the trip alone. 3 miles west of Illinois Highway 59 on Illinois Highway 126, Plainfield (815-436-2140). 10am–7pm. $7 per foot.
Family Tree Nursery
An hour south of the city, you’ll find great prices on Scotch Pines, Douglas Firs, Canaan Firs, White Pines, Norway Spruces, Blue Spruces and more. A heated shop also greets you with hot cocoa, cider and cookies. 1548 E 10000 North Rd, Manteno (815-468-8511). 8am–4pm. Scotch pine $25, all other trees $40.
Ide Christmas Tree Farm
Head 45 minutes from the city for seven types of spruce, fir and pine, and pre-cut Fraser firs. Bring cash—this farm doesn’t take cards. 1500 83rd St, Downers Grove (630-743-4032). Sat, Sun 8:30am-4pm, Mon–Fri 10am–4pm. Cut-your-own $60; pre-cut $70.
Honey Bee Acres Christmas Tree Farm
About 50 minutes away from the city, this family-run farm features spruce, pines, firs, wreaths and garlands as well as a host of farm animals to keep the kids entertained. 41W072 Bowes Rd, Elgin (847-464-9627). Fri, Sat, Sun 8:30am–4:30pm through Dec 9; spruce $49, pine $39.
An hour away from the city, this scenic farm offers Scotch pine, White pine, Balsam fir, Douglas fir, and Norway Spruce. Personalized wreaths, swags, centerpieces and roping are also for sale. Pets are welcome. 45W002 Lee's Rd, Lily Lake (630-365-2116). Fri 1–5pm, Sat and Sun 9am–5pm; $70–$80.
Luers Christmas Tree Farm
An hour from downtown, Luers boasts ten different types of firs and spruces, plus wreaths, garlands and Christmas-themed nick-knacks. After chopping down your own, warm up and grab a picnic by the fireplace. 6303 W 91st Ave, Crown Point, IN (219-663-2832). Mon–Fri noon–dusk, Sat and Sun 9am–dusk; spruces ($6/foot) and pines ($4.50/foot).
Spring Bluff Nursery
This farm features a variety of trees and hay rides for the family about an hour away from downtown. 41W130 Norris Rd, Sugar Grove (630-466-4278, www.springbluffnursery.com). 9am–4pm. Dec 8, 9, 15, 16.
Christmas tree lots
Check out the Balsam and Fraser firs, blue spruce and Scotch pines of all sizes or stock up on bundled greens, garlands and wreaths for fabulous holiday décor. Special events include an appearance from Santa on Dec 15 and a custom bow making and creative wrapping workshop on Dec 22. Tree delivery is also available. 3022 W Lake St between Sacramento Blvd and Kedzie Ave (773- 638-2000, cityescape.net). Priced by height and tree type.
B. A. Florist & Nursery Co.
Have a very specific tree in mind? You’ll likely to find it among this nursery’s array of breeds: Balsam, Fraser, Douglas firs, and white and Scotch pines. While most trees range from three feet to 12 feet, larger trees are available at 16 feet and beyond. Pick up some poinsettias or grab roping, branches or wreaths to deck your halls. 1000 W Randolph St between Morgan St and Carpenter St (312- 421-6326, afloristinc.com). Priced by height and tree type.
St. Matthias Transfiguration School
If you're all about giving this season, buy your tree and wreaths at this volunteer-operated playground lot where all proceeds benefit the school. 4910 N Claremont Ave between Ainslie St and Argyle St (773-784-0999). Mon–Fri 6–9pm, Sat and Sun 9am–9pm; $30–$100.
Queen of Angels Catholic School and Parish
Get roping, trees and wreaths of every size at this sale, which runs through mid-December. Proceeds support the Queen of Angels Elementary School. 2330 W Sunnyside Ave between Western and Lincoln Aves (773-802-3456). Mon–Fri 6–9pm, Sat and Sun 9am–9pm; $20–$90.
Surround yourself in pre-cut Frasers and Canons, cut greens, garlands, centerpieces, pot stuffers and decorative reindeer to boot. Delivery and set up is also available. 1646 West Diversey Pkwy between Marshfield Ave and Paulina St (773-929-9330). Open daily 9am–8pm; trees $20–$260.
This market is packed full of competitive prices and various berries, branches and fir trees freshly cut from the forests of North Carolina. Set up, lighting and delivery is available. 4110 N Elston Ave between N Ridgeway and N Hamlin Aves (773-539-1200). Mon–Fri 10am–8pm, Sat and Sun 10am–5pm; Balsam firs $39–$69, Fraser firs $20–$89.
Gethsemane Garden Center
At this one-stop shop, you can get your wreaths, boughs, ornaments and tree stand along with your favorite Christmas tree, whether it's a tabletop 3-footer or a picturesque tower cut to touch your 20-foot ceiling. Choose from fresh Fraser, Noble and Balsam firs or Scotch and white pines. Delivery and tree set-up is also available. 5739 N Clark St between Ashland and Edgewater Aves (773- 878-5915, gethsemanegardens.com). Mon–Fri 9am–9pm, Sat 8am–8pm, Sun 9am–6pm; trees $15–$550.
Taking home a precut piece of pine doesn't have to cost a fortune. Skip the overpriced asphalt lots and hoof it to Home Depot for a traditional Fraser fir in either the 6-to 8-foot ($40) or 8- to 10-foot ranges ($50). Slightly thinner, prebundled 5- to 8-foot Scotch pine trees can go home with you for a mere $15. See homedepot.com for locations.
You can find an array of trees from this third generation Arneson family tree farm with locations sprinkled throughout various city parking lots. Shop around at the one nearest you for a Fraser or Balsam fir, a Black Hill or blue spruce or a white pine. Balsam garlands, Fraser fir wreaths, and tree bags and stands can also be purchased at these numerous locations.
2407 N Elston Ave (Vienna Beef parking lot) between Fullerton and Damen Aves 1334 W North Ave between Elston and North Aves
401 W North Ave at Sedgwick St
1728 N Clybourn Ave between Sheffield Ave and Dayton St
1632 W Wrightwood Ave between Ashland Ave and Addison St
3620 N Clark St (McDonald's Parking Lot) between Addison St and Waveland Ave
2940 N Ashland Ave (Jewel-Osco Parking Lot) between Oakdale and Wellington Aves
3511 N Ashland Ave at Addison St
5500 N Ashland Ave (Across from Jewel-Osco)
5970 N Ridge Ave at Peterson Ave
959 W Diversey Pkwy at N Sheffield Ave
(715-851-0880, chicagochristmastreeslots.com). Open daily 8am–10pm; $7 per foot–$15 per foot.