Agri Leader

Christmas trees add more than tradition

From the Rockefeller Center in New York, to the White House in Washington, D.C., to Delray Beach in Florida, Christmas trees are, once again, lighting up the country with their sparkling bulbs, showy decorations and strings of popcorn. Nothing else quite captures the spirit of Christmas in such a striking way as a Christmas tree.

Now that December is here, it's time to get your own Christmas tree for the holidays. Thanks to the local nurseries, you don't have to go too far to find the perfect one.

"We sell live 4-foot to 12-foot trees, such as cedars, junipers and other varieties that you can plant in your yard after the holidays," said Steve Aumonte, owner of The Lords Farm & Nursery. The trees start at $55 and go up to a few hundred dollars. If you are looking for other live decorations, poinsettias are always a good choice and they make great gifts. Poinsettias are available at Lord's in a variety of colors such as red, cream and pink. "We also have topiaries, trimmed in the shape of a tree, starting at $30," said Aumonte, who owns the farm & nursery with his wife, Ellie.

Robbins Nursery also has a large selection of Christmas trees and other holiday plants.

"We have a good selection of container trees, such as Arizona cypress, and Florida red cedar in a variety of sizes," said Bobby Heffner, owner of the family-owned and operated Robbins Nursery. Their potted Christmas trees come in 14-inch to 20-inch pots for $29.95-$129.95. Jasmine shrubs that are trimmed like Christmas trees start at $29.95. Poinsettias, in a variety of colors and sizes, are also available.

"Our North Location has live Christmas trees, custom flower bowls, live wreaths and holly trees," add Heffner. Choices vary according to store location.

For those who are looking to cut down their own trees, Santa's Christmas Tree Forest, located in Eustis, is a good choice. You can hop on a hayride and tour their 15 acres where you'll find a selection of more than 15,000 trees to choose from including sand pines, red cedars and Arizona cypress. They provide the saw and a measuring pole, while you do the cutting. In addition to live trees, the Forest offers pre-cut trees, along with wreaths, boughs and decorations. They also offer winter hayrides, along with many other activities, and most importantly, Santa makes his appearances (call for times and dates).

Santa's Christmas Tree Forest partakes in "Trees for Troops." For a small donation, a tree will be donated to overseas troops or to their families here in the states. Although the deadline for a donation is Dec. 8, you can make a donation, in your name, over the phone.

Long & Scott Farms in Mount Dora offers pre-cut Fraser fir Christmas trees and hay rides. Santa also makes his appearances here (call for times and dates). On location is Scott's Country Market & Garden Shoppe where you can purchase the trees, along with Scott's Zellwood Triple-sweet Gourmet Corn, and a host of other fresh fruits and vegetables. For fun, you can check out Scott's Maze Adventures, a corn maze with other great activities like hayrides and a jump pillow (open until Dec. 15), and there's also Scott's Country Café, where only the freshest food is served.

Lastly, Stanley Pond Adventure Farm in Astatula, offers a three-weekend Winter Wonderland, a fun-filled Christmas-themed park. Admission includes wagon rides, a giant jumping pillow, cow train rides and more. That busy Santa makes his appearances here as well (call for times and dates). There are no Christmas trees for sale, but they do have a gift shop.

For those who purchase potted trees and poinsettias, don't forget you can plant them in your yard or garden after the holidays. And for those who purchase precut trees, contact your local Solid Waste Authority for recycling information.

If you go:

Long & Scott Farms

26216 CR 448A, Mount Dora


The Lords Farm & Nursery

1993 US Highway 27 South

Sebring (Locations also in Orlando, Lake Placid and Longwood)


Robbins Nursery

South Location

4803 US Highway 27 South, Sebring

North Location

2424 US Highway 27 North, Sebring


Santa's Christmas Tree Forest

35317 Huff Road, Eustis


Stanley Pond Adventure Farm

15426 County Road 48, Astatula