Santa's Christmas Tree Forest is a working tree farm. Guests have the unique opportunity to cut a real Florida Christmas tree in the field. That's right! We provide the saw, we provide the live tree, and you get to do the cutting! If you prefer a pre-cut traditional type of tree, please select Fresh Cut Northern Trees from the menu to view our selection.
To control the negative impacts of allowing too many guests into the tree field, one ticket per person is required for field entry and/or a hayride. The cost of those tickets up to $10 will be refunded with the purchase of a tree, even if it comes from our Northern lot. You may choose to walk into the field, or hop on board our hayride and we will give you a tour of our 17 acres of Christmas trees. That's over 17,000 trees to choose from! Raise your hand to stop the ride when you find a good spot. Upon disembarking, we will provide you with a saw, and you “Choose” and “Cut” that perfect tree. The hayride will bring you and your tree back to the processing area, or you may choose to carry it in.
At the tree processing area, your tree will be measured and then placed in a shaker to remove any dead needles and critters. Your tree will be netted in the baler, then you may choose to have it drilled for a rebar spike stand (available for purchase). Netting and drilling are complimentary.
Caring for your fresh cut Christmas tree is much like caring for a fresh bouquet of flowers. Both should have a fresh cut on the stem, should be placed in water as soon as possible, and should never be allowed to dry out. However, your Christmas tree will retain its freshness and beauty long past the time that those flowers would!
Maybe you remember a special type of tree from your youth, a tree that can’t be grown in our Florida heat and sandy soil. Well, Santa’s Christmas Tree Forest has a tree for you too! We visit farms in North Carolina and Michigan to find the best quality trees available.
Pricing varies widely, as we order a wide range of grades to provide an option for every budget. A seven foot fresh cut tree can range from $53 to $72 depending on the type and quality. Trees are individually priced and tagged for your convenience.
This year, we have four varieties of out-of-state trees.
To learn information about these tree types and see pictures of each, please visit the National Christmas Tree Association’s Tree Types page.
Unlike your typical roadside tree lot, our fresh cut trees are delivered on a refrigerated truck, sometimes arriving with the mountain snow still fresh on the branches. When they arrive at the farm we store them in a refrigerated building until they are displayed. We give the trunk a fresh cut and immediately place them in stands with water. Hundreds of trees are on display in our oak-shaded lot, so that you can see exactly what the tree will look like when you get it home. We are sure that you will find our prices competitive with other area tree lots, and our quality, service and selection superior!
Specific tree types and sizes are subject to availability, so if you have a particular variety or size in mind, especially late in the season, please contact us by email for availability before your visit.
A handmade wreath welcomes guests with the holiday spirit. Enjoy crafted wreaths fashioned on the farm daily from fresh cut Fraser fir greenery. They are available in three sizes, and may be customized by our wreath artists with your specially selected bow.
Available with inside diameters of 12” (Small), 16” (Medium), and 18” (Large). No two wreaths are identical so outside diameters vary.
While supplies last, we offer two varieties of tabletop potted trees under 3 feet tall for under $10 that may be planted after Christmas. Larger trees are not available at this time. Please call Matlack Tree Farm in Clermont at (352)406-9735 for larger potted Christmas tree options.
The Sand Pine is the most popular and traditional-looking Florida Christmas tree. Often seen growing wild in Florida, the Sand Pine can thrive in almost any soil. These trees grow up to 2 feet per year, and on our farm, some trees reach over 18 feet in height.
The Red Cedar is an evergreen which is actually a variety of juniper. It can grow 40-50 feet tall and can spread 8-15 feet in a sunny location. The wood of the red cedar is fragrant and the foliage is a bright or dark green. The leaves have sawtooth serrations and are prickly to the touch.
The Arizona Cypress is a fast growing evergreen tree that grows well in the Florida heat. The foliage is lacy and silver-blue. The form is upright, broad and conical with weeping branches. It is a beautiful tree for those wanting something a little out of the ordinary.
Please see our potted trees information on live tree options. Our planted trees do not grow well balled or in grow bags, so we are unable to offer this option.
Transporting a fresh cut tree for any distance on top of your vehicle may cause it to dry out due to the wind. If this is necessary, it is best to wrap your tree in a protective covering. If you would like to wrap your tree for transporting, you may want to bring an old sheet or blanket, or we offer a large Christmas tree removal bag, similar to an oversized garbage bag, that may be purchased from the gift shop for under two dollars.
Upon reaching your destination, make a fresh cut straight across the trunk 1/4″ to 1/2″ from the base before placing it in water if your tree has been without water for more than a couple of hours. Place the tree in water as soon as possible. The National Christmas Tree Association recommends using plain tap water for your tree, as research has shown that additives, such as aspirin or sugar, are not beneficial and may actually be detrimental to a tree’s moisture retention. A tree may be stored in a cool shaded area for several days in a bucket of water. To display a tree indoors, it should be placed in a sturdy stand of appropriate size with adequate water holding capacity, generally one quart of water per inch of stem diameter. Check the base of the tree daily to assure that the level of water does not go below the base of the tree. If the tree should ever dry out, a seal will form over the base and it would be necessary to make a new fresh cut across the trunk to allow the tree to take up moisture.
Your Christmas tree originated in a natural agricultural environment and is often transported outside the vehicle. Occasionally, a bug may be found in your tree. We take steps to prevent this, such as treating the trees in the field and shaking trees to remove the insects. However, to help assure that no insects are taking up residence, you may choose to hose down your tree with water, or spray it with a household insect spray labeled for indoor use with ornamental plants and evergreens, before bringing it into your home. One insect that thrives on pine trees is the aphid. Sometimes confused with a spider or tic, this tiny insect is completely harmless to people. If found after setup, this insect may simply be vacuumed from the flooring.
When ready to display your tree, choose a place in your home away from heat sources (fireplaces, heaters, heating vents, etc.) Fresh cut trees are no more flammable than a wet leaf. However, common sense dictates a few rules of caution. Inspect lights, cords, and connections prior to placing them on the tree to be sure that they are in good working order and are not frayed. Only cool burning lights should be used, lighting instructions should be followed carefully to avoid overloading circuits, lights should be unplugged when unattended. Monitor the tree for freshness, and remove the tree from your house if it is particularly dry. Never burn your tree in a wood stove or fireplace.
Christmas trees are biodegradable, which means that they may be reused and recycled. After Christmas, tree branches may be removed, chipped, and used as mulch. Many communities offer recycling and mulching programs. Check newspapers and the internet, or call your local county or city government to find recycling programs in your area.
Wreath without bow
Wreath with bow
Caring for a live Christmas tree is very similar to caring for a fresh cut tree. Adequate water should be used to keep the soil damp, but not flooded, while in the container, and it should be kept close to a sunny window if possible. Keeping potted trees inside for more than two weeks is not recommended, so they should be planted as soon as possible after seasonal use. Keep the tree outside in filtered sun for a few days to get it acclimated before planting. Dig a hole slightly larger than the pot, tap the container to remove the tree while leaving the soil on the root system, and place the tree in the hole. Back fill and tamp the soil around the root ball to insure no air pockets remain. Build a dam several inches out around the trunk to hold water. Fill the dam with water every day until the tree is well established, which may take weeks. Frequent watering is key for the survival of the tree. Fertilizer is not required for the first few months. Then a general purpose fertilizer may be sprinkled at least a foot away from the trunk as needed.