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Editor's Choice: Christmas Tree Farms

Lauren Jost and Rachel Leon share their top picks.

This article originally appeared on Lake Ridge Patch and Woodbridge Patch on Dec. 1, 2011. It is republished below in its entirety.

Earlier this morning, we rounded up tree stands in eastern Prince William County. But personally, we really prefer Christmas tree farms, where choosing and cutting the tree is all part of the adventure. Unfortunately, we have to drive out of eastern PWC to find these spots. Here are two Christmas tree farms that we've deemed worth the drive.

Rachel: Middleburg Christmas Tree Farm

Christmas Tree Lane, Round Hill

I have a built-in prejudice against pre-cut trees. This may be because I grew up in snowy Northeastern Ohio, where we went every holiday season to the same farm to find our tree from the rows of evergreen trees. This year was the first year I'd bought a pre-cut tree, because, after tramping all over two farms--one in Fairfax and one in Prince William--I could not find a single tree without brown needles or a giant gap in the branches. While my tree looks lovely, festooned with lights and ornaments, I still wish I could have had the pleasure of finding the perfect tree in the middle of a quiet field instead of pulling it from a crowded barn. 

In short, I wish I'd returned to Middleburg Christmas Tree Farm. I went there last year, and loved everything about it. Located near the historic town of Middleburg, the drive to the farm is scenic, pastoral. We found our tree within 20 minutes, a beautiful Douglas Fir. The employees were friendly and helpful. I decided not to go this year because of the long drive from Middleburg back to the Woodbridge area; in retrospect, after my somewhat disappointing experiences this year, I should have made the drive. It's worth it.

Lauren: Hank's Christmas Trees 

3064 Hartland Lane, Markham

Full disclosure: I have never had a real Christmas tree. My family had one when I was younger, but needless to say I wasn't old enough to remember having it. From then on out, we were a fake tree family. This year, I'm getting my first-ever real Christmas tree and I couldn't be more excited about it.

Chances are due to space limitations my tree may be Charlie Brown's Christmas tree's twin, but it will be real! 

A friend recommended to me that I check out Hank's Christmas Trees in Markham, VA. She and her husband have been buying trees from this place since they were dating. According to my friend, Hank's gives out free caramel apples and gives you gloves, a saw and sends you off to the tree of your dreams for $40. The business also does pre-cut Fraiser Firs for $40-$50. Fresh wreaths are made on-site, too, but Hank's recommends that you place an order before you go so the wreath will be ready upon your arrival. 

I haven't made it out to Hank's yet, but can't wait for my first tree! 


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