Christmas is less than a month away and festively lit trees can be seen peeking through windows around the Caldwells. Town trees will be lit this weekend. Is yours up yet?
If you are still sans-tree, here are some local places to pick one up. Or perhaps you prefer a drive to the country to cut your own? If you have a favorite place to get a tree, share it in the comments.
Pre-Cut, Close and Convenient
Caldwell Nursery on Passaic Avenue in West Caldwell is open year-round and during the holidays specializes in Christmas trees, wreathes and other greens.
The Troop 9 Boy Scouts Christmas Tree lot opens on Friday, Nov. 30 at the intersection of Central Avenue and Beverly Road in West Caldwell. The scout-run lot will be open daily from 6 to 9 p.m. on weekdays, and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends. They will have more than 500 trees and proceeds go back to the Scouts.
Matarazzo Farms in North Caldwell sells fresh frazier and douglas firs. They offer free delivery, custom wreaths by Jeannie, and set ups by appointment.
Some tree markets pop-up in area parking lots. Trees are generally not as high quality, but you could find some good deals on balsam firs if you don't mind sweeping up after needles. Nearby, markets are set up across from the Pilgrim Shopping Plaza on Route 23 in Verona and in the Whole Foods/K-Mart parking lot on Prospect Avenue in West Orange.
Some Assembly Required
Artificial trees are back in vogue, particularly ones that come pre-lit. At the Fortunoff Backyard Store, they are described as "life-like," and some appear to be covered or "kissed" by snow. Prices start at $129.99 and go up as high as $1,999.99. The closest stores are in Totowa and Livingston.
Shane Hill Farms in Sussex has been owned and operated by the Garrett Family since 1961. All trees are $75 no matter the shape or size and choppers can bring their own saw or use one of theirs. The farm is open weekends after Thanksgiving from 9:30 a.m. until dark. For the best trees, come early in the season.
Indian Ridge Tree Farm is located in West Milford and offers choose and cut (Blue Spruce, White Spruce and White Pine) as well as pre-cut fir varieties. The farm is open Friday through Monday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Visit the New Jersey Christmas Tree Growers' Association website for a guide to all pick-your-own farms in the state.
Once you have the tree, you can pick up some new ornaments at many local shops. Do you like a handcrafted look? Stop by Somewhere in Time in Caldwell for one-of-a-kind pieces by American artisans. The store is also chock-a-block with Christmas and seasonal decor, candles and gift ideas. Can't get enough of Vera Bradley? The Pink Bungalow carries ornaments in popular patterns. You can also find ornaments among the decor items at Smith & Company.