Cut your own Christmas tree: seasonal magic with bells on

Cut your own christmas tree

Where to cut your own Christmas tree

The woods are a no-go

There’s no question about it: you absolutely cannot head for the woods with an axe to cut your own Christmas tree – it’s not permitted and you could be prosecuted for theft, along with any number of other offences such as trespassing, criminal damage, breaching the peace... That would certainly take the shine off the most wonderful time of the year. Remember that forests are privately owned spaces and treat them accordingly.

Find a Christmas tree farm near you

You don’t need to forgo the magic of heaving home a Christmas tree that’s been cut with your own hard work though, thanks to a number of Christmas tree farms around the country. Find out if you have one in your area. You’ll probably find that you don’t even need to make an appointment to cut your own Christmas tree – just turn up with your own tools during their opening hours. With just a little bit of imagination you can feel like a real woodsman in a forest of firs!

Why cut your own Christmas tree

More choice

Every year it rolls around: time to start thinking about a Christmas tree. Maybe you want something grand for your hallway; or a compact tree to grace a bay window; or maybe you are very particular about how bushy it needs to be. When you visit the usual sellers it’s often hard to find exactly what you’re looking for, meaning you have to compromise or come home empty-handed. Wouldn’t it be best if you could cut your own fir? At a Christmas tree farm, you can take your time to choose the one.

STIHL professional tip: To ensure that your Christmas tree fits perfectly in its stand, measure the opening of the stand and then take a measuring tape to the Christmas tree farm to measure the trunk and check it will be just right.

A large stack of wrapped up cut Christmas trees, with two standing on display

Healthier trees and less needle drop

Do you often find that your tree has already shed a lot of needles by Christmas day? That is often because ready-cut Christmas trees have been stored for too long before they are sold. When you cut your own Christmas tree you know exactly how fresh it is.

Close-up of green needles on a Christmas tree

 A wonderful day out

Christmas is a time for special family experiences, and the magic of choosing and cutting a tree together is not to be missed. From exploring the farm so you can select just the right fir, to cutting it down together and then bringing it home with you – it’s a Christmas experience that’s second to none.

Make sure that Christmas is nothing but merry by taking note of our safety tips below when you cut your own Christmas tree.

A man carrying a saw as he walks with a woman and child, with different-sized fir trees all around

Better value for money

Magical Christmas memories are priceless – but the perfect Christmas tree doesn’t need to be expensive, and if you cut your own Christmas tree you’ll usually get better value for money. Just like the Christmas tree sellers elsewhere, farms will generally set pricing based on the size and type of tree (firs are generally pricier than spruces) – and you will find that tree you cut yourself is more fragrant and always fresher than one that has been harvested well in advance. And because you do some of the work yourself, the farm will usually offer a discount on the price. Remember to account for any travel costs to get to your nearest Christmas tree farm though.

Two children carrying a freshly cut Christmas tree through a snowy Christmas tree farm

How cut your own Christmas tree

The tool

Having the right tool makes it very easy to cut your own Christmas tree. If permitted at the site, a cordless chainsaw is ideal because it is easy to transport, easy to start and has more than enough power to take down a standard fir. We recommend the lightweight MSA 140 C-BQ cordless chainsaw. If you can’t use a chainsaw – or if you just prefer the physical challenge of the traditional approach – STIHL also offers a range of axes.

Snow-covered pine trees and ground in a forest

How to cut your own Christmas tree

  • Before you start work, give the tree a good shake to dislodge any loose needles and snow.
  • Don’t go solo to cut your Christmas tree: take help, as one person needs to hold the trunk somewhere in the top third to keep the tree steady.
  • As you work, the chainsaw bar or axe blade should be angled downwards.
  • With the tree cut and on the ground, trim the base of trunk so that it will fit in your tree stand.

STIHL professional tip: If you have a tree stand that you can fill with water, add a spoonful of sugar to the water as well – this will keep your cut Christmas tree fresh for longer.

Cut your own Christmas tree: safety considerations

Cutting your own Christmas tree is fun for the whole family, but safety should always be paramount. When working with a chainsaw, you need to wear cut protection trousers and shoes, work gloves, and glasses to protect your eyes from wood shavings. Ear protection is not required with cordless chainsaws.

When sawing, make sure that your companions keep their distance, particularly if you have children with you. Choose a weekend or day off to cut your own Christmas tree – you must always work during the day while it is still light, as the risk of injury increases considerably when it’s darker.

Summary: cut your own Christmas tree

  • Only cut your own Christmas tree where it is permitted to do so
  • The best way to cut a Christmas tree is with a cordless chainsaw or an axe – check what is allowed at the farm before you go
  • Never cut a Christmas tree alone – a second person should be there to hold the tree
  • When you cut your own Christmas tree, the guide bar or axe should be angled towards the ground
  • Only ever cut a Christmas tree in good light: the risk of injury increases in dark conditions

How do you cut a Christmas tree?

To cut a Christmas tree, first find somewhere you are permitted to do so: look up local Christmas tree farms. You’ll need to take your own tools and someone to help you. If power tools are allowed at the site, a cordless chainsaw is ideal, otherwise you’ll need an axe.

What saw should you use to cut a Christmas tree?

To cut a Christmas tree, a cordless chainsaw is quiet, convenient and easy to handle. Many Christmas tree farms don’t permit chainsaws though, so you may need to use an axe and hand saw.

Can a cut Christmas tree be replanted?

A cut Christmas tree cannot be replanted because it has no root system to sustain it. However, many Christmas tree farms also offer the option of digging up your own tree, which means some of the root system will remain attached. This will prolong the life of the tree in a pot over Christmas, and there is a chance it would survive if you replant it outside.