LIVING Christmas Trees at Pipe Creek Christmas Tree Farm: A Fun Family Adventure
So, we’ve done something different for Christmas this year and I am so excited about it! I don’t think I’ve had a real Christmas tree in the house since I was probably five or six years old, but when I read about the Pipe Creek Christmas Tree Farm’s “Living Christmas Trees”, I had to go see what it was all about. These are Leyland Cypress trees that are potted in 15-gallon containers…they have NOT been chopped down! You purchase the actual living tree, take it home, make it beautiful for the holiday, then plant it in your yard after Christmas! The crazy thing is, I was just talking with my husband a few months back about how I didn’t understand why people didn’t sell these; I thought I had a novel idea and was all ready to become a Christmas tree farmer, but it turns out these folks had me beat. Ha!
So here’s how it works: You use your trusty GPS to guide you to the farm where you’ll find plenty of parking. You wander on in through the gate and there will be all kinds of friendly employees waiting to help. There’s a sign that tells you exactly what to do:
We chose to take a cute photo first, then we hopped on the trailer for a hayride through the trees. We come to the pumpkin patch at the farm every year, so we knew what to expect with this, but the beauty of this place and the smell of all those trees just never gets old! One thing to note, unlike the pumpkin patch hayride, there is no actual hay on this trailer (probably because people do toss a tree up there every now and then) and we didn’t stop to feed the animals this time. We still had tons of fun and the kids asked to go again, just like always!
We spent the hayride going, “ooh, look at that one!”, and listening to the kids say, “Daddy, let’s get that big one!” over and over again. But, we knew that what we were really interested in was the living trees. So once our hayride fun was done, we moved over to where those were and took a good look around. It didn’t take long before we found “the one”. We paid for it at the snack bar window (or at least, what is the snack bar during the pumpkin patch!) and my husband maybe had to pull me away from all the fresh wreaths, tiny trees, fudge, and mulling spices since I just kept throwing more things up to the window to add to our purchase. Hey, it’s all about the experience, right? 😉 Also, I highly recommend making mulled wine with those spices: toss a bit in a crock pot with a bottle of red wine (to heat, not boil) and maybe some orange slices or cranberries if you want to make it pretty. This was a suggestion from our friends at Sister Creek Vineyard and boy do they know what they’re talking about!
Once we were all checked out (there was no line, by the way), they gave us a page of care/planting instructions, wrapped the base of the tree to protect the soil, loaded it up on a dolly, then into the back of our truck, and we were on our way!
The one thing I will make note of here is that when we got the tree home, we did notice some fire ants in the soil. But, seriously, this is TEXAS, y’all. I really think fire ants are to be expected and that’s exactly why we checked for them. It was really no big deal; we put some ant bait on it and let it sit on our back patio for a couple of days. Problem solved!
So now that our living tree was inside, I began googling ideas for how to cover the black pot that it sits in. That led me to this blog post by Lolly Jane (insert all the heart eyes):
We went with the whiskey barrel idea and here is our finished product: a completely-overflowing-with-handmade-ornaments, slightly-crooked, kinda-scraggly, perfectly-imperfect, LIVING Christmas tree!
I am so excited to be able to plant this tree on the property where we’re building our new house. I will be honest and say that I don't know how well the Leyland Cypress will fare in our drought-prone part of Texas, but I hope it makes it. Is it a perfectly trimmed, department-store-worthy Christmas tree? Of course not. But we had a great time picking it out together at the farm, bringing it home, and letting the little hands that mean the most to us in the whole-wide-world fill it with all of our precious memories and keepsakes. So to us, yes, it's perfect. 😊
Do you prefer real or artificial trees? Have you ever had a living Christmas tree? Did you plant it after Christmas? What fun holiday traditions does your family enjoy together?
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