This year's hunt has taken us to the forest outside of Sisters, Oregon, where a fine mix of Pine and Fir yields the perfect holiday tree, if one only searches hard enough!!
Each year, the Forest Service in Oregon offers tags to go cut-your-own trees in the National Forest for the low cost of $5. Yep, heard that right, five big ones for a perfect tree, which also benefits your forest by helping to thin the woods, thus decreasing fire hazards come summer.
There are a few simple rules that must be followed :
- Trees must be less than 15' in height.
- The tree you cut must be within 12' of another tree.
- The tree must be at least 300' from any water source, and 150' from any roads.
Pretty simple right?
So James and I packed up the boys and headed out HWY 242, The McKenzie River highway, outside Sisters Oregon. It was a beautiful sunny day, and all sorts of people were out, dogs and kids playing in the dusting of snow, barbeque's and firepits blazing. We drove down a dirt forest service road until we found a stand of Firs nearby. Then we got out and started hiking.
Among the statuesque Ponderosa Pines, White Firs and Douglas Firs, we found an ancient lava flow. The only sounds were birds chirping, a light breeze rustling the pine needles, and in the distance, shouts of joy from other families enjoying the afternoon.
I snapped a pic of this tree, which I liked but James didn't, just in case we needed to remember it. Ha! As if trees can be so easily identified by a picture.
After a couple hours of tromping though the woods, we found our perfect tree. It actually had a split near the base, and another, smaller tree was growing from the same stump, so we felt really good about our choice, since the tree will continue living even though we took part of it. At this point, Cash was also pretty tired, so it was time to head back to the truck.
|Look at those belly rolls! He's got some skin to grow into!|
Here is our tree, all loaded up and ready to drive back to Bend. The boys took it upon themselves to load up. The woods are great for tiring out wild puppies.
We got the tree all decorated and trimmed up but.... you have to wait until tomorrow to see!!! I must admit, its our best one yet.
See for yourself...
This is last years... barely under 15'... it was insanely huge.
And this is 2009, our first tree together. This one was so tiny, James carried it out with one hand!! It was a Charlie Brown tree for sure.
Anyone else head to the forest to chop down a tree the old fashioned way? I grew up going to local tree farms and hunting down the perfect tree with my family. I love continuing the tradition with my family now!
Be back tomorrow with our tree, decked out for the holidays!!