Life in Portland

The Best Places to Get Your Christmas Tree in and Around PDX

Finding the Perfect Yule in the City of Roses

If you close your eyes, you might be able to pull up the image in your memory. You’re at the neighborhood boy scout Christmas tree lot, it’s 4:30 in the afternoon in Portland in late November, and it’s already dark out. It’s barely drizzling, so you can pretend that a light snow is falling. And your parents are arguing over which noble fir to get. This one has the best overall branch disbursement, but it has a bald spot in the back. That one has clumpy branches at the bottom, but it’s even all the way around.

Christmas is bearing down on the Rose City, and despite the rain and the four o’clock sunsets, we will celebrate Christmas as if we lived in a Thomas Kinkaid painting. We always manage to! And a great part of it has always been the procuring of the annual Christmas tree (unless you’re one of those heretics that drags out the same sad plastic tree every year). Here is a roundup of the best places to get your Christmas tree in and around the Rose City this year.  

Neighborhood Tree Lots

That’s right, the neighborhood lot is still a great place to pick up a Christmas tree. Many of the neighborhood lots are associated with a church or other charity, so buying from a neighborhood lot is a great way to get some of your charitable giving in, while picking up a tree and a wreath or two.

Furthermore, depending on how long the lot has been in business and purchasing from the same local grower(s), they may have the absolute cream of the crop, getting preferential treatment and early selection over exports and retail offerings.

Holiday Tree Retailers

That’s right, area retailers are in the Christmas tree business now, and we’re not just talking about the artificial, super flocked, and singing trees that Target and other big box stores bring in every year. Many area retailers, including Fred Meyer, stock Christmas trees in their outdoor centers from mid November through the third week in December. The price may not be perfect, but sometimes convenience and necessity trump all other considerations.

U-Cut Lots and the Great Outdoors

The most romantic (and most “good ole fashioned, if you ask Clark W. Griswold) way to procure the family Christmas tree is to go out in the woods, stalk it, and bring it down all by yourself.

Or, you can go to one of the many U-Cut Lots on the outskirts of greater Portland and sip cocoa while you leisurely stroll the back forty, looking for the perfect noble fir, grand fir, or scotch pine. For bonus points, drop by the ranger station in Estacada for a permit on your way out into the deep woods to cut a wild tree.

…Or Maybe Try a Potted Tree

That about rounds up where to purchase or obtain a Christmas tree in the greater Portland area. But for extra eco-points this holiday season, consider purchasing a tree in a container from a local nursery. It can live somewhere in your backyard until you need it again next year, and eventually it can find a permanent home in the ground, you know – replacing the chainsaw exhaust in the atmosphere with pure Oregon oxygen.

[Image copyright She Saw Things Photography]