From their family traditions to yours, here are some of the best tree farms across Michigan that have stood the test of time—and will let you chop down your own Christmas tree just like Clark Griswold.
MICHIGAN—When the end of the year approaches and the snow starts to fall, nothing compares to the nostalgic experience of driving to a tree farm to find your very own Christmas tree.
Michigan is already known for its crop diversity, but we also rank in third in the country for Christmas tree production. That’s right: the Mitten produces more than 2 million Christmas trees every year, and we’re loaded with a much wider variety of trees than any other state.
Wondering where to start your own Griswold-style Christmas vacation?
We have the list:
Candy Cane Tree Farm in Oxford
4780 Seymour Lake Rd.
This Oakland County tree farm was founded by an organic gardener in 1977, and those eco-friendly principles have served as the foundation of the farm’s operation for 45 years. The family-owned farm has even won a bounty of awards for its environmentally sound practices—including for drip irrigation and all-organic pest management. Candy Cane Tree Farm was also recently featured nationally on a segment of Good Morning America.
Matthes Tree Farm in Ida
13416 Lulu Rd.
This family-owned tree farm has become a holiday tradition for local families— sometimes going back generations. The Matthes family started selling Christmas trees in 1953, and they’re still going strong more than six decades later. The main barn was created from four dismantled barns and features live entertainment, visits with Santa, concessions, and more.
Urquhart’s Tree Farm in Chelsea
10050 Jerusalem Rd.
With over 80 acres of trees, Urquhart’s Tree Farm is one of the state’s largest Christmas tree farms. The family-owned farm began as a side project for Susan Urquhart after she left a career in teaching, but nowadays it’s big business for her and her husband. Families can sip hot chocolate on a wagon ride to pick out their tree—with great views of the Mill Creek River.
Runyans Country Tree Farm in Clio
10235 N Webster Rd.
This tree farm has changed owners several times—but through it all, the family-run operation has been repeatedly voted as Genesee County’s best place for Christmas trees. The farm features plenty of photo opportunities, and also takes orders for custom holiday decorations.
Western’s Tree Farm in Applegate
3375 French Line Rd.
This tree farm has been owned by three generations of the Western family since 1949. And in addition to its year-round status as a landscaping company, the farm features a cabin built from trees originally planted on the property. Inside, you’ll find all sorts of unique Christmas gifts. The Western family also frequently supports the local Lions Club with fundraisers.
Kluck Nursery in Saginaw
1020 Van Wormer Rd.
Kluck Nursery bills itself as the largest plant retailer in the region. The nearly 100-year-old nursery has been owned by four generations of the Kluck family, and Christmas trees have always been at the center of its operations. After the holidays, haul your tree back to the nursery to have it recycled into mulch—and you’ll get a voucher for a free spruce tree!
Tannenbaum Farms in Mason
2515 Sandhill Rd.
Tannenbaum Farms has been one of the top-rated tree farms in Mid-Michigan for almost 50 years. Dr. Mel Koelling, a professor in Michigan State University’s Department of Forestry, used his professional knowledge to start the farm to help save money for his children’s college funds. Today, in addition to being a local Christmas tradition for many families, Tannenbaum Farms also sells locally produced maple syrup made from their own trees.
Rainbow’s End in Stanton
1183 S Hillman Rd.
Looking for something different? This is the place. In addition to standard Christmas trees, the farm is known to dabble in painted trees—with colors like blue, purple, and pink. The farm spreads over 80 acres and sells a variety of wreaths, garland, and other holiday decor.
Vormittag Tree Farm in Grand Rapids
9921 Linden Drive NW
The Vormittag Tree Farm was once a cattle farm—but it’s been all about Christmas trees since founder John Vormittag decided to plant a field of Scotch pine seedlings back in 1954. And now nearly 70 years later, five generations of the Vormittag family have helped to keep the Christmas spirit alive. Pro tip: The farm also has a stellar collection of holiday wreaths.
Wahmhoff Farms Nursery in Gobles
Here’s a fun fact: This family-owned farm supplied the Christmas tree to then-Vice President Joe Biden and his family back in 2011. And if their trees are good enough for the president, they’re probably good enough to find a place in your living room. Over the holidays, this farm can harvest as many as 10,000 Christmas trees per day. It’s also one of many farms that participate in Trees for Troops, a program that delivers Christmas trees to US military bases.
Pinecrest Farms in Galien
4403 Spring Creek Rd.
This tree farm started selling scotch pines in 1974, but has since expanded to include many other varieties, including colored Christmas trees in red, teal, blue, purple, black, and white. You can browse the whole collection from the comfort of a tractor- or horse-drawn wagon.
Dutchman Tree Farms in Manton
9689 W. Walker Rd.
This tree farm supplied the massive, 65-foot Norway Spruce that’s currently on display at Campus Martius in Detroit. But these premium grade trees are also available for your living room. Five generations of the Vanderweide family have been serving northern Michigan families for over 50 years—and they grow some of the highest quality trees in the state.
Meister’s Tree Farm in Marquette
394 County Rd. 480
The Upper Peninsula already feels a bit like the North Pole in the winter, but Meister’s Tree Farm really captures that Christmas magic. Four generations of the Meister family have been growing trees here since 1955. During the holidays, the farm offers hot cider, doughnuts, holiday gifts and decor, wagon rides, and horse-drawn sleigh rides.