Vanessa Wen is a born and raised Ottawan who loves finding all things small town, big city and internationally flavoured, in the capital.
For as long as I can remember, every December my parents insisted on bundling us up until we couldn’t breathe, driving for what seemed liked ages, and trekking through the woods to chop down the perfect Christmas tree.
Skinny or fat, tall or stout, my parents refused to buy a pre-wrapped tree from the beer store or the lot down the street. Instead, they wanted to examine the straightness of the trunk, the moistness of the needles, and the shape of the branches. It was always a fun adventure, but somewhere between -20 degrees and examining the trunk on tree number 56, patience always wore thin.
It wasn’t until I spent my first Christmas away from home, surrounded by palm trees, that I realized how lucky I was to have grown up with the tradition of always bringing home a hand-picked (and hand-sawed) tree. Sure, we’re taught as kids that cutting down trees isn’t environmentally friendly. And yeah, these trees are grown for the sole purpose of being cut down just so they can be displayed for three weeks and then thrown to the curb. But there’s something real about having a tree, straight from the woods where you picked it, as part of your family during the holidays.
And plus, the people who run the tree farm are experts and rotate the growing and cutting of the trees annually.
Laird’s U-Cut Tree Farm just outside of Ottawa offers trees of the pine, spruce, and blue spruce varieties. Free shaking and bundling on site. Prices vary depending on type and size.