Life

Pick your own Christmas trees at these Eastern Iowa farms

Many farms have extra precautions in place during pandemic

Searching for the one at Handley's Holiday Hillside tree farm near Solon for Christmas 2018. (Ben Roberts/Freelance)
Searching for the one at Handley’s Holiday Hillside tree farm near Solon for Christmas 2018. (Ben Roberts/Freelance)
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The derecho that took out trees across Iowa mostly spared the Christmas trees at Hoffman Tree Farm in Marion.

“Any trees 8 foot and under came through it just fine. We lost only maybe five or six Christmas trees if something fell on top of them,” co-owner Dan Hoffman said.

They did lose taller, more mature trees on the property and have been working hard to get the farm ready to welcome visitors again on Friday.

“It’s given us something to work at for the last three months and probably the next three years,” he said.

He encourages visitors to wear gloves and a scarf or mask due to the coronavirus pandemic, but said he feels tree cutting is a fairly safe activity, since it is outside.

Many tree farms have put extra precautions in place this year due to the pandemic, such as closing or limiting gift shops or canceling visits from Santa.

Here’s what you need to know about where to pick a live tree in Eastern Iowa this year. This list may not be comprehensive and is compiled from tree farm websites and the Iowa Christmas tree Growers Association. Farms are listed in alphabetical order by county.

Benton County

Kacena Family Tree Farm

Where: 2510 55th St., Vinton

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Contact: (319) 350-2113, kacenafarms.com

When: Nov. 27 until sold out

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. opening day and Saturdays and Sundays; weekdays by appointment only.

COVID information: Masks required when inside barn and gift shop.

Black Hawk County

Kriss Kringle’s Trees

Where: 5220 W. Bennington Rd., Cedar Falls

Contact: (319) 277-8596, facebook.com/kriskringlecedarfalls

When: Nov. 27 to Dec. 11 or until sold out

Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. opening day and weekends; 1 to 5 p.m. weekdays

COVID information: Santa not appearing this year.

Bremer County

Wapsie Pines Tree Farm at Fairbank

Where: 2778 Whitetail Ave., Fairbank

Contact: (319) 638-7931, wapsiepinestreefarm.com

When: Nov. 27 to Dec. 13

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Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends and opening day, 1 to 5 p.m. weekdays

COVID information: Santa not appearing this year; separate warming shed entrance and exit doors, plus an outdoor payment window option.

Cedar County

Kelly Tree Farm

Where: 1045 Stone Mill Rd., Tipton

Contact: (563) 452-0280, kellytreefarm.com/christmas-trees

When: Due to demand, may only be open for one weekend, Nov. 27 to Nov. 29. Call or check website for additional availability.

COVID information: Christmas rabbits will not be available for children to hold this year.

Johnson County

Handley’s Holiday Hillside Inc.

Where: 1731 White Oak Ave. NE, Solon

Contact: (319) 624-3646, facebook.com/handleysholidayhillside

When: Nov. 27 and Saturdays and Sundays in December until sold out

Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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COVID information: Visitors asked to maintain six feet of social distancing and wear masks when social distancing not possible. Cocoa cabin and gift shop not open.

Jones County

A & A Christmas tree Farm

Where: 14201 170th Ave., Monticello

Contact: (319) 481-7370, aachristmastree.com

When: Nov. 27 and every weekend up to Christmas

Hours: Sunup to sundown

Linn County

Cedar’s Edge Evergreen Market

Where: 2188 Ivanhoe Rd., Ely

Contact: (319) 361-7967, cedarsedgemarket.com

When: Open for pre-cuts only 1 to 5 p.m. Nov. 22, and then open for field cutting Nov. 27 until sold out. Limited field cutting available this year.

Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and opening day, 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday to Thursday

Hoffman Tree Farm

Where: 9409 C Ave., Marion

Contact: (319) 377-0977, hoffmantreefarm.com

When: Nov. 27. Limited availability of choose and cut trees. Fields will be open for cutting Thanksgiving weekend, though they may open again depending on availability. Pre-cut trees available until sold out.

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Hours: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday to Sunday, 3:30 to 7 p.m. Monday to Thursday

COVID information: Masks or scarves encouraged.

Wickiup Hill Tree Farm

Address: Wickiup Hill Road, Toddville

Phone: (319) 361-9634, wickiup-hill-tree-farm.business.site

When: Nov. 27 to Dec. 4

Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 27 to 29; 1 to 5 p.m. Nov. 30 to Dec. 4

COVID information: Guests will not be allowed into craft and goody shop, but will be able to browse and pay through a window. Cash only. Saws sanitized between uses. Visitors asked to wear a mask and social distance while waiting in line.

Louisa County

Honey Creek Timbers<CHARENTITY>7</CHARENTITY>

Where: 1501 L Ave., Morning Sun

Contact: (319) 868-7647, honeycreektimbers.com

When: Opened Nov. 21, through Christmas

Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays; noon to 5 p.m. Sundays

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COVID information: Appointments encouraged during weekdays to reduce weekend crowds, masks encouraged, staff temperature checks, outdoor pay option and other precautions.

Winneshiek County

Bappe’s Holiday Pines Tree Farm

Where: 1846 Whitetail Rd., Decorah

Contact: (563) 382-2125, facebook.com/HolidayPinesTreeFarm

When: Opened Nov. 21 through Christmas

Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays

Comments: (319) 398-8339; alison.gowans@thegazette.com

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