Growing up, my family had an artificial tree that was stored in the attic and brought out year after year. The tree was older than me by about 10 years and held together with wire, but there it shined in the living room every Christmas.

Now that I’m married and have a house of my own, my husband and I did something I’ve always wanted to do: pick out a live Christmas tree. There’s nothing quite like the smell of a live tree or the fullness either. Our tree tops about six feet and has so many branches. It is simply gorgeous; not something that can be imitated completely by an artificial tree.

In Atlanta, there are a myriad of different places to hand-pick your tree. From local nurseries (like where I purchased mine), home improvement stores, churches or even vendors at gas stations, fresh cut trees seem to be available on every corner. For the freshest of fresh though, visit a tree farm.

Berry’s Tree Farm, located just east of Atlanta in Covington, offers row after row of Leyland Cypress, Virginia Pine, Cedar and Carolina Sapphire for families to choose and cut themselves. If Fraser Fir is the tree of choice, they offer those fresh cut. They also offer snow flocking if you want your tree to appear dusted with the elusive powder. Berry’s Tree Farm also has concessions, visits with Santa and Santa’s Workshop, where you can buy decorations, wreaths, garland and tree stands.

Coker Tree Farm is convenient to those on the Northwest side of the city. Located off Mackland Road in Cobb County, the farm offers Murray Cypress, Leyland Cypress and Carolina Sapphire to cut yourself, or fresh cut Fraser Firs. Coker Tree Farm provides saws for cutting and has elves on hand to shake and bundle each tree free of charge.

There are many more Christmas tree farms in the area. The AJC has put together a very comprehensive map to find one near you.

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