Santa Cruz Christmas Tree Farms

santa cruz Christmas tree farms

You can buy a Christmas tree in just about any big commercial parking lot these days.  You can pick up a gallon of milk, a carton of eggs, and oh yeah…a Christmas tree while you’re at it.

While that may be convenient it lacks the fun and traditional spirit of going out into nature to pick out a Christmas tree.  If you’re looking for a more authentic Christmas tree experience then Santa Cruz is a pretty great place to be.

There are a lot of Christmas tree farms located in the Santa Cruz mountains.  These farms let you tap into your inner Clark Griswold by letting you choose and cut your own tree.

There are also plenty of options for those of you who are looking for the pre-cut variety.

Some of these tree farms are a bit of a trek so we’ve included a Christmas Tree Farm Map at the bottom of this post so you can get a sense for how far into the mountains you’ll need to venture for the perfect tree.

Here are some Santa Cruz Christmas Tree Farms to consider when you’re ready to pick out your tree:

Crest Ranch Choose and Cut Christmas Tree Farm

Crest Ranch, up Empire Grade, is California’s oldest choose-and-cut Christmas tree farm.  It’s also the spot we go most years for our tree. It sits at the top of Ben Lomand mountain and overlooks the village of Boulder Creek.  They feature over 50 acres of Christmas trees, and more than 20 tree varieties.

Drinks and snacks are available on weekends, but visitors are encouraged to bring their own lunch to eat in the picnic area.

Check out their handy explanation of how the whole cut your own tree process works.

  • Location: 12200 Empire Grade, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
  • Hours: Open daily beginning Nov. 17. Mon-Th: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Fri-Sun: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Dog Friendly: Yes
  • Pricessee website for prices

For more information, visit the Crest Ranch website.

Patchen Christmas Tree Farms

Patchen is the only choose-and-cut-ranch that is open at night, offering convenience for those who want to pick up a tree after work.  The Patchen crew provides everything you need to cut down your own tree, as well as free loading and tie-down.

Patchen also offers a variety of eco-friendly products such as a biodegradable tree stand.

  • Location: 22217 Old Santa Cruz Highway, Los Gatos, CA
  • Hours: 7:00am – 7:00pm, daily from Nov. 23 – Dec. 24
  • Dog Friendly: Yes
  • Prices: $45 – $75

For more information, visit the Patchen website.

Ward Ranch Christmas Tree Farm

Ward Ranch is a small family run farm in Bonny Doon.  They offer choose and cut trees, as well as pre-cut trees.

Ward Ranch also offers complimentary hot chocolate, tea, popcorn made on an open fire, and a kids crafting station. Take a look at the photo gallery on their website and you’ll quickly see that this is a special place that has become a holiday tradition for many families.

  • Location: 4820 Bonny Doon Rd., Santa Cruz, CA 95060
  • Hours: 9:00am – 5:00pm on Saturdays & Sundays until Christmas
  • Dog Friendly: Yes
  • Prices: See website for prices

For more information, visit the Ward Ranch website.

Summit Christmas Tree Farm

Summit Christmas Tree Farm has been a family operated farm for over 30 years.  It is a large, 80 acre, farm located off the HWY 17 summit.

They offer snacks, mistletoe, wreaths, and encourage visitors to pack a lunch and enjoy a picnic on the property.

  • Location: 23868 Summit Road, Los Gatos, CA 95033
  • Hours: Weekends: 8:00am – 4:30pm, Weekdays: 9:00am – 4:30pm, through Dec. 24
  • Prices: all trees, regardless of size or variety, are $60.  Price includes tax

For more information, visit the Summit Christmas Tree Farm website.

Four Winds Ranch

This large (60 acre) farm has been a family favorite for years.  All trees are $50, and everything else from the netting to hot chocolate and candy canes is free.

There is a large picnic area if you want to bring a lunch and enjoy the property.  For more about Four Winds, check out the glowing reviews they’ve earned on Yelp.

  • Location: 19679 Skyline Blvd., Los Gatos, CA 95033
  • HoursWeekends: 8:30am – 4:30pm, Weekdays: 11:00am – 4:00pm, through Dec. 24
  • Dog Friendly: Yes
  • Prices: all trees are $50

For more information, visit the Four Winds Ranch website.

Additional Santa Cruz Christmas Tree Farms

The Johnson Farm

GHJ Tree Farm

Mountain Charlie Christmas Tree Farm

Hester Creek Farm

Peacock Tree Farm

Map of the Santa Cruz Mountain Christmas Tree Farms

About Ethan Oates

Ethan Oates fell in love with Santa Cruz while visiting as a child. He has lived in Santa Cruz since the mid '90's, and is happiest when spending time with his family.