With a $5 permit , a person can cut down their own Christmas tree at any of Michigan's three national parks.
But you don't have to venture deep into the Michigan wilderness — à la Clark Griswold of "Christmas Vacation" — to find the right tree this holiday season, thanks to a number of cut-your-own and pre-cut options in the Battle Creek area.
According to the National Christmas Tree Association , 26.2 million real Christmas trees were purchased in 2019. Unlike many holiday customs this year affected by the pandemic, the practice of cutting down one's own Christmas tree remains a relatively safe activity with social distancing outdoors.
"People just want to get out of their houses and come out, stay away from other people and cut their own with minimal contact," said Cindy Wilson of Wilson's Tannenbaum Farm in Battle Creek. "It's something that is somewhat normal this year."
Lakeview Ford Lincoln
For a donation, the Battle Creek Optimist Club has pre-cut trees available from the lot of the Lakeview Ford Lincoln dealership.
Located at 295 W. Dickman Road, some 100 trees were purchased and will be given away following a donation of "whatever fits your budget," according to Lakeview Ford owner Vince Pavone.
"The true joy wasn't the money we were raising, but the opportunity for others to give service," said Pavone, who has used his lot for Christmas tree donations dating back to 2010. "There's the people giving more than the standard $20 for a tree. Also, because we were able to find so many families that couldn't afford a tree, we were able to come and be a part of their Christmas."
The lot includes Scotch pine and Fraser fir trees. The scheduled hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. and weekends from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Station 66, known for selling locally-grown foods and Michigan-made products, is again this year offering pre-cut trees at 4588 D Dr. S. in Battle Creek.
While the ice cream shop won't be hosting its traditional holiday events such as a visit from Santa and his reindeer, it is selling nearly 400 Michigan trees — mainly Fraser fur, some as tall as 10 feet — with 95 on display in its lot under overhead lights.
"Station 66 sells, beside the trees, the experience of picking out the tree and enjoying hot cider, cocoa, soup and sandwiches to enjoy with your family," owner Curt Tramel said. "We also sell a lot of peppermint ice cream."
Tree prices range from $40 to $99. Hours are Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. until 8:30 p.m.
For more information, visit station66bc.com or call 269-979-5766.
Top of the Hill Nursery
Started in 1964, the Top of the Hill Christmas Tree Farm offers a variety of pre-cut and cut-your-own trees.
The 19-acre farm located at 8920 Verona Rd. in Battle Creek features grows Scotch pines, white pines, Norway spruce, blue spruce, Fraser firs, white firs and balsam firs.
For hours and prices, call 269-962-3869.
Wilson's Tannenbaum Farm
Wilson's Tannenbaum Farm in Battle Creek covers 150 acres, with roughly 60 dedicated to its crop of Christmas trees.
The tree farm at 13769 N Dr. N. offers pre-cut varieties of Fraser fir, blue spruce, concolor fir, Norway spruce, white pine, and white spruce, with prices ranging from $50 to $130 (12-footers). Rope and saws are provided for cut-your-own trees, which cost $9 a foot.
Daily holiday hours are 9 a.m. until sundown.
For more information, visit wilsontreefarm.com or call 269-781-2433.
The nursery and feed market in Marshall has again unveiled its "Christmas Tree Lane."
Located at 311 W. Spruce St., Oerthers offers pre-cut varieties of Scotch pine, Canaan fir, white pine and white fir trees that are shaken and wrapped in netting upon purchase. Price ranges from $34.89 to $131.89.
Hours are 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on weekdays; 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
For more information, visit oerthers.com or call 269-781-4040.
Loveberry's Tree Farm
Loveberry's Tree Farm in Quincy offers pre-cut varieties of firs, spruces and pines.
In addition to trees, the family-owned farm offers horse-drawn wagon rides on weekends and homemade hot cider and hot chocolate for purchase, as well as a log cabin holiday store.
Located at 165 S. Ray Quincy Road, the farm is open Tuesday through Friday, from noon to 5 p.m. and on weekends from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.
For more information, visit loveberrystreefarm.com or call 517-639-8360.