O TannenbaumFor many families, selecting the just-right Christmas tree is an early segue into the holiday season. Should it be the classic Noble fir or a stretch — maybe a Nordmann fir?
Where can you find fresh-cut trees for Christmas?
Beginning the day after Thanksgiving, several nonprofits will open their annual Christmas-tree lots, with some offering snow-flocking and flame-proofing, as well as delivery service and set-up at home.
New this year at Webb Ranch in Portola Valley, which is celebrating its 50th season, are "Cookies with Santa," a free gift for return customers. The gift includes a jar of ingredients that makes just under two dozen chocolate-chip cookies, R.J. Rudikoff, managing partner with Webb Ranch, Inc., said.
On Fridays, after school, kids can sample cookies and get their photos snapped with Santa himself.
"We're trying to have a picture environment," with snowmen, penguins and sleigh cutouts, Rudikoff added.
But true tree aficionados might want to make a day of choosing and cutting, then picnicking in Los Gatos at the Patchen California Christmas Tree Farms.
— Carol Blitzer
Lot: Sea Scouts Christmas Trees
Location: Palo Alto Little League Park, 3672 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto
Dates, hours: Nov. 23 through Dec. 23, weekdays 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., weekends 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Kinds of trees: Douglas, Grand, Noble and Nordmann firs, 2 to 11 feet
Other items: Garlands, wreaths, table-top trees (1 to 2.5 feet). Also sells stands; delivery varies by size and location: $15 to $40, with a discount for same address
Prices: $16-$250; 6- to 7-foot tree is $45-98
Benefits: Supports Sea Scouts programming; manned by volunteers
Information: 650-493-6614 or www.sssintrepid.org
Lot: Nativity School Christmas Tree Lot
Location: 1250 Laurel St., Menlo Park
Dates, hours: Nov. 23 through Dec. 15, Tuesday-Thursday, 4 to 8 p.m.; Friday, 4 to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Opening day 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; closing day 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Kinds of trees: Douglas, Fraser, Grand and Noble firs from Oregon, 2 to 14 feet (fresh cut and stand available)
Other items: Wreaths (20 to 30 inches in diameter), candy cane wreaths, Advent wreaths and garland. Delivery to Menlo Park, Atherton, Palo Alto and Redwood City; discount on multiple trees to same address. Flame-proofing available.
Benefits: educational and extracurricular programs at Nativity School; staffed by parent and community volunteers
Prices: $20 to $409 (pre-order form on website); 6- to 7-foot tree is $49-$72
Information: 650-275-3750 or www.nativitytrees.com
Lot: Kiwanis Christmas Tree Lot
Location: Lucky Market parking lot, Foothill Expressway at Arboretum (2175 Grant Road, Los Altos)
Dates, hours: Nov. 23 (opens 10 a.m.) through Dec. 16; weekdays 3 to 7:30 p.m.; weekends 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Kinds of trees: Noble firs, 2 to 13 feet
Other items: Tree stands, wreaths, garlands, table decorations; set up and delivery for a fee
Prices: $19-$359; 6- to 7-foot tree is $75
Benefits: Kiwanis Club of Los Altos Foundation
Information: 650-988-9900 or lakc.netfirms.com
Lot: MVLA High School Sports Booster Christmas Tree Lot
Location: 1035 El Monte Road, Mountain View, Corner of El Camino Real and El Monte Road (in the Blockbuster/CVS parking lot)
Dates, hours: Nov. 23 through Dec. 17, weekdays 4 to 7 p.m., weekends 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Kinds of trees: Noble firs from Oregon, 3 to 11 feet
Extras: Free bagging, fresh cut. Trees are guaranteed; if dry out early, free tree next Christmas season
Prices: $25-$200, tax-deductible (6- to 7-foot tree is $75)
Benefits: supports athletics and after-school programs in the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District; buyers can direct up to 20 percent of purchase to any school or organization
Information: mvlatrees.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Lot: Menlo Park Kiwanis Christmas Tree Lot
Location: on Stanford University campus next to the football stadium on El Camino Real at Embarcadero Road
Dates, hours: opens Nov. 23, weekdays 2 to 8 p.m., weekends 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Kinds of trees: Noble firs from Oregon
Other items: delivery available
Benefits: Kiwanis Club of Menlo Park, which provides scholarships for Menlo-Atherton High School students, and donations to St. Anthony's Padua Dining Room, rebuilding Together, Project Read/Menlo Park Library
Lot: Santa's Village
Location: Webb Ranch, 2720 Alpine Road, Portola Valley
Dates, hours: Nov. 23 through Dec. 24, daily 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Kinds of trees: Douglas, Grand, Noble and Silvertip firs from Washington and Oregon
Other items: Wreaths, garlands, poinsettias, boughs, mistletoe
Extras: Help choosing, wrapping, loading, plus delivery available; snow flocking, fire retardant, free net wrap and tie down
Prices: $14.95-$700 (18-foot range); 6- to 7-foot trees $47-$98; live ones from $9.99
Information: 650-854-5417 or www.webbranchinc.com
Lot: Patchen California Christmas Tree Farms
Location: 22217 Old Santa Cruz Highway, Los Gatos
Dates, hours: Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve, daily 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Kinds of trees: Redwood, Pine, Fir, Cedar, Cypress, Exotics
Other items: Stands, wreaths, gift shop, picnic tables, free hot mulled cider and candy canes
Prices: Choose and cut: Coast or Sierra Redwood, Monterey Pine, $6/foot, $40 minimum; Douglas Fir, Incense Cedar, Cypress, Exotics, $8/foot, $55 minimum; fresh cut: Noble or other true fir, $8/foot, no minimum
Information: 408-353-1615 or www.patchencalifornia.com/