The Hunt For The Perfect Tree

This time of year, trees get a lot of attention. Evergreens have long been used as symbols of protection and prosperity, not to mention revered for the amazing aroma they add to a home. And the holidays are a perfect time to bring one inside. If you are after a perfect holiday tree to adorn your living room, finding one is easy when you live at River Ranch!

River Ranch is located just a few short minutes from the Payette National Forest, brimming with trees waiting to be trimmed out in all the holiday accoutrements. It may seem odd that a community that has planted more than 3,500 trees to create a beautiful landscape and frame stunning view corridors would be in favor of chopping down a tree to display for just a few short weeks, but a live tree is both renewable and biodegradable.

On average, a tree takes at least seven years to grow to typical Christmas tree size. While it grows it is absorbing carbon dioxide and filtering the air of particulate matter and releasing oxygen. Live Christmas trees are also providing watershed protection and excellent habitat for songbirds and other wildlife. Great for the environment and beautiful in our homes – a win win!

Before you set out to find an old-fashioned family Christmas tree, here are a few tips to make the experience more enjoyable for everyone:

  1. Pick up a permit at the Payette National Forest office in McCall. Permits cost $10 and allow one tree to be cut with a limit to three permits per family.
  2. Expect to hike a bit. In the Payette National Forest, you cannot cut a tree within 50 feet of a road and in most cases, the best trees are going to be off the beaten path anyway. Just remember…the hike in is easy, the hike out carrying (or dragging) a tree can be a bit more strenuous.
  3. To find a fuller tree, look for a clearing that gets plenty of sunlight and provides an opportunity for trees to grow without being packed together.
  4. Trees look smaller in the forest. A lot smaller. Know what height will fit your home before you head out into the woods and bring a measuring tape…trust us, it will save a lot of trimming later!
  5. Know your trees. Spruce trees have sturdier branches that turn upward and can handle heavier ornaments. Pine and fir trees both have beautiful aromas and softer needles and branches – perfect for packing on the lights and handling lighter ornaments.
  6. Don’t forget the chainsaw or hand saw (laugh now, but we have all forgotten a saw at least once and the trip back home to get it really spoils the mood!).
  7. Don’t worry about perfection. Trees grown in the wild are never going to be perfectly symmetrical, but with a little bit of trimming, a few strings of lights and your family’s favorite ornaments, it will be a unique, one-of-a-kind showcase to make the holidays brighter.

Happy hunting!

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