Considering getting a live Christmas tree this holiday season? Ever since we moved back to Iowa, we have consistently gone to Strautman Tree Farm as part of our annual tradition the day after Thanksgiving. We started this tradition after we got our first home, and we haven’t looked back since!
Strautman Tree Farm is located in central Iowa in the town of Cambridge, and isn’t too far for Ames or surrounding Des Moines residents to make the trip out to. You’ll also see many families and couples who take professional photos out at the farm for Christmas cards, which seems like such a fun idea!
Overall the process is easy and fun, and they are accommodating to those who may not even want to cut their tree done themselves but would like to pick it out!
You’ll drive in and they’ll hand you a saw if you don’t have one, and a map of the farm with all the variety of trees they have available and the prices for the heights and some additional current information.
There aren’t a lot of signs or anything once you are out in the farm, but it’s pretty obvious to just drive along until you see the tree type you want. Then you can pull to the side, walk through and begin your hunt for the perfect Christmas tree!
Picking out the Perfect Christmas Tree
We don’t have high ceilings or anything, so we typically just make sure our tree is between 6-7 feet tall, or that it’s not too much taller than my husband.
Cutting can sometimes be a tricky process, so having another person to hold the bottom branches up while another person saws the trunk works the best. And potentially switch off who is cutting depending if it’s a cold day and that makes it more tiring.
Once you’re done cutting, the tree is super light weight and easy for two people to carry to a car. We always bring our truck and just chuck it in the truck bed, which makes it especially easy. Then we truly look like all the popular home decor with the red trucks with the tree in the back, although ours isn’t quite as cherry red.
Shaking & Netting the Tree
Once you’re done picking and cutting your tree, you’ll head back to the front where there will be a group of workers that will help with getting your tree shaken with their machines and then netted up.
The shaking helps with removing the loose and excess pine needles, and to remove any critters or crawly things that might be in your tree. The netting is also super helpful once you try to put your tree in your tree stand because then it’s much easier to place it in your stand and tighten it.
I have another post all about Live Christmas Tree Care for more in-depth information on taking care of a real Christmas tree once it’s home.
Office & Gift Store
At that point they will also measure your tree height to determine the price of your tree and hand you a slip to give to the office where you will pay.
The office doubles as a gift store with treats and hot cider to sip on and warm up with. They usually have a variety of gifts, decor, wreaths, and some Christmas tree care items as well.
Every year they have a new official wooden ornament from Strautman farms that comes with your purchase! They are always so cute and a fun addition to the tree each year.
Obviously in 2020 there are many restrictions and the office currently does not allow more than one person from your party in at this time, and the store is empty and is only open for paying and then leaving. Hoping next year we can be back to sipping warm cider!
Strautman has been a great place to find our Christmas tree every year and is such an easy and fun process. It’s also great knowing that you are supporting a local Iowa farm and you can guarantee you are getting the freshest tree!