Montana Outdoors

December 8, 2012

Christmas tree, 2012

Filed under: Winter — Tags: , — montucky @ 8:07 pm

Christmas tree 2012

Cutting a tree is a long-standing tradition in our family. When we lived in Arizona it meant a 150 mile drive up to the northern part of the state, but it’s easier here; six miles from our house. Tree permits are available from the National Forest for $5. This Douglas Fir measures at 11ft.



  1. Wow! I want to see where you’re going to put an 11 ft tree. And with lights on it too! It’s going to be a beauty!


    Comment by Debby — December 8, 2012 @ 8:15 pm

    • It is a beautiful tree. Nearly half of our house is a very large room that contains our living room, kitchen and dining area. It has a very steeply pitched roof and ceiling, about 17 ft high at the peak. A tree 11 or 12 feet tall fits in very nicely, although with a whole forest outside that is decorated far better than we could ever decorate one, it seems a bit redundant.


      Comment by montucky — December 8, 2012 @ 11:15 pm

  2. Cool. Went to Home Depot and got a 4 ft for $20. It’ll do.


    Comment by badwalker — December 8, 2012 @ 8:31 pm

    • The forests here are close and this whole area is very sparsely populated. Cutting Christmas trees, properly done, actually helps thin the trees which is needed anyway.


      Comment by montucky — December 8, 2012 @ 11:19 pm

  3. I’ve cut down very few trees for Christmas, but the persistent failure I experienced was that they always look a lot smaller in the woods then they do in a living room.


    Comment by jomegat — December 8, 2012 @ 9:32 pm

    • They sure do, especially with a pretty good amount of snow at their base.


      Comment by montucky — December 8, 2012 @ 11:21 pm

  4. beautiful! that’s the way it should be! for now I am sticking w/ my 20+ year old plastic lopsided tree! :/


    Comment by skouba — December 8, 2012 @ 9:47 pm

    • When we lived in the Phoenix area for a half dozen years or so we bought live trees for Christmas and then planted them in the yard right after Christmas. Mondale Pines did very well in desert conditions and made beautiful trees for our yard.


      Comment by montucky — December 8, 2012 @ 11:24 pm

  5. Looks like a wonderful tree!!


    Comment by alskamom — December 8, 2012 @ 10:43 pm

    • It is, and as fresh as one can get. In a way I hate to cut them, but they are over-crowded in this area and it’s good to help thin them out a little.


      Comment by montucky — December 8, 2012 @ 11:26 pm

  6. 5 bucks for an eleven footer? WoW! can’t beat that =)


    Comment by Tricia — December 8, 2012 @ 11:05 pm

    • Yes, I’ve noticed the prices on cut trees in the city and can’t get over it. I wonder why more folks here don’t go out and cut their own, not just for the cost but for the fun of doing it.


      Comment by montucky — December 8, 2012 @ 11:27 pm

  7. That looks like a lovely tree – we always have a real one too, and we love the scent of it. 150 miles is a long drive to get a tree – I bet you’re glad you’re a lot closer now!


    Comment by Jo Woolf — December 9, 2012 @ 1:42 am

    • The day we go out and cut our tree is my wife’s favorite day of the year, so the long drive was worth it, but yes, it is much nicer now to be close.


      Comment by montucky — December 9, 2012 @ 3:47 pm

  8. Such a wonderful pre-holiday tradition and image. Love it!


    Comment by Marcie — December 9, 2012 @ 5:19 am

    • Over the years it has been a very good tradition. Now out kids have adopted it too.


      Comment by montucky — December 9, 2012 @ 3:48 pm

  9. We always cut our own too. A lot of people don’t realize how important it is to the overall health of a forest to have the excess trees thinned out so they don’t grow too close together.


    Comment by New Hampshire Gardener — December 9, 2012 @ 7:00 am

    • A little thinning doesn’t hurt. In Montana the Christmas trees that people cut for their homes goes just a little way toward thinning out the forests. I added up the acreage today and Montana has 17.8 million acres of National Forest.


      Comment by montucky — December 9, 2012 @ 3:50 pm

      • Wow! That’s a lot of room to explore.


        Comment by New Hampshire Gardener — December 10, 2012 @ 11:49 am

        • It is, and I can usually go on a long hike and not see another person. It give a true insight into the natural wild country.


          Comment by montucky — December 10, 2012 @ 9:39 pm

  10. We also have this tradition in my family, since I was a child, and carrying the tree back home on top of the car. Now I just pick one in my garden (there are too many)…


    Comment by bentehaarstad — December 9, 2012 @ 7:34 am

    • I know there are still lots of people who cut their own, but the percentage is dwindling as more people are living in the big cities.


      Comment by montucky — December 9, 2012 @ 3:50 pm

  11. Recently I found a photo of my dad bringing in a tree we had cut when I was a child. We had country friends with plenty of trees, and every now and then we would cut rather than buy. It was such fun – always snowy, always more work than we imagined, always followed by hot cocoa. The best part of all was the fragrance – there’s not an artificial pine scent in the world that matches it!


    Comment by shoreacres — December 9, 2012 @ 9:21 am

    • I know that everyone who has done that as a child remembers it. That, if nothing else, makes it worthwhile.


      Comment by montucky — December 9, 2012 @ 3:52 pm

  12. Wonderful tradition you are carrying on!!! ONLY in a JEEP !!!


    Comment by dhphotosite — December 9, 2012 @ 12:30 pm

    • You know, there was a time when that would have made a good Jeep advertisement. I wonder if it still would?


      Comment by montucky — December 9, 2012 @ 3:54 pm

  13. Douglas firs were/are always the preferred choice in our family…I love the aroma of a forest of firs…there is nothing better!


    Comment by dhphotosite — December 9, 2012 @ 12:31 pm

    • We prefer them too, even the small imperfections of a tree grown in the wild.


      Comment by montucky — December 9, 2012 @ 3:55 pm

  14. Oh, that is quite tall isn’t it?????????


    Comment by Roberta — December 9, 2012 @ 2:36 pm

    • Rather on the taller side of the range. We always wish we could plant it in our yard instead of cutting it.


      Comment by montucky — December 9, 2012 @ 3:58 pm

  15. Love it! We always had a real tree from the time I was a youngster to just a few years ago. When our kids were young, we would cut down our Christmas tree at a tree farm. So much fun to pick out your own tree and then haul it back to your house. When we lived in the Pacific Northwest, you could go out to the forest to cut trees just like you do. Brings back great memories!


    Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — December 9, 2012 @ 4:14 pm

    • It’s a rather simple tradition and, here at least, an inexpensive one. We cherish the memories from the many years that we have done it.


      Comment by montucky — December 9, 2012 @ 11:30 pm

  16. I thought it appeared you had definitely done that before… nice tie down job!! 🙂


    Comment by kcjewel — December 9, 2012 @ 5:16 pm

    • Yes, there have been several Jeeps and many trees. It has been a special day each year over many years, a continuity that seems to help tie things together.


      Comment by montucky — December 9, 2012 @ 11:33 pm

  17. That looks like a beautiful tree! And $5 dollars can’t be beat. We will be buying a precut tree from the farm a mile down the road from us. They don’t offer the option of cut it youself, and I do like supporting the neighborhood tree farm.


    Comment by kateri — December 9, 2012 @ 6:11 pm

    • A couple of time we did buy a tree from a local grower whom we know, but we really do enjoy going into the forest to find one.


      Comment by montucky — December 9, 2012 @ 11:34 pm

  18. Yay!! What a great picture! A tree on the roof headed for home 🙂


    Comment by zannyro — December 9, 2012 @ 9:38 pm

    • That’s still a fairly common sight around here, but it seems to be less common as the years go by.


      Comment by montucky — December 9, 2012 @ 11:37 pm

  19. That’s a beauty. Can we see the finished product? I do always feel badly on Christmas Eve when I see the leftover trees in the lots, cut down for nothing…


    Comment by Candace — December 9, 2012 @ 10:01 pm

    • I will try to remember to post a photo of it when it’s decorated. I also feel badly when I pass the tree lots in the city where I know there will be so many wasted. There are some very large Christmas tree farms about a hundred miles north of here and they ship all over the country. I wonder just how many go unused.


      Comment by montucky — December 9, 2012 @ 11:39 pm

  20. I love Your photo. To me it was interesting to see Your car. You know that I am a car lover. The tradition to fetch Christmas tree is nice tradition.


    Comment by Sartenada — December 10, 2012 @ 1:38 am

    • As a car lover, I’m sure you would love the Jeep. Not for high-speed highways though. Selecting a tree from the forest is one of my favorite traditions.


      Comment by montucky — December 10, 2012 @ 9:37 pm

  21. For many years we cut a spruce off our land, and then 20 years or so later I realized we had decimated the young spruce population. So we’re now giving it a break and allowing a new crop of trees to develop. Still, nothing like cutting your own wild tree!


    Comment by WildBill — December 11, 2012 @ 7:11 am

    • There are still many areas near here where some thinning will do nothing but good, and few people cut their own trees. Spruce are native here but not very plentiful locally.


      Comment by montucky — December 11, 2012 @ 9:27 pm

  22. 11 foot ! Wow, this will make a wonderful Christmas tree !
    Happy holidays to you !


    Comment by Inspired and pretty — December 12, 2012 @ 9:44 pm

  23. I do miss celebrating Christmas in Montana… Especially going into the Lolo forest to pick a tree! It’s a wonderful life oops I mean tradition. Merry Christmas to you and your family Terry! -Maureen


    Comment by twoscamps — December 13, 2012 @ 2:23 pm

  24. Looks like you’re all set. I love the tree and the Jeep!


    Comment by farmhouse stories — December 13, 2012 @ 8:17 pm

    • The Jeep always smiles when we tie our tree on top!


      Comment by montucky — December 14, 2012 @ 9:38 pm

  25. This photo makes me smile!!!!


    Comment by Bo Mackison — December 18, 2012 @ 8:52 pm

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