Many of us have special holiday traditions in our homes, and one of my favorite traditions has always been cutting down a fresh Christmas tree to decorate my home. For the past 20 years I have hiked through National Forests with a tree cutting permit and found the most perfect imperfect Charlie Brown style trees to bring home. Before that I have driven to tree farms, or walked through the woods owned by a friend to find my tree. One year we drove from Virginia to Ohio to cut a fresh tree! However, this year I found the best of both worlds right here in my own back yard in Florence, Alabama and that special place is Sokoll Christmas Tree Farm!
If you are looking for a fresh and beautiful Christmas tree, look no further! Sokoll’s is just want you’re looking for and it’s so much more than a tree farm. Richard and Lisa Sokoll bought 17 acres in northern Alabama several years ago and began planting trees in 2017. Those trees have grown up to be some of the most beautiful Christmas trees I’ve ever seen. They opened up their farm to the public in 2020 and sold 150 trees. That number doubled in 2021, and now in 2022 they expect to decorate the homes of 1,000 lucky families with their amazing trees. While you’re visiting, you can also enjoy a hayride, a visit to the tree house, hot chocolate around the fire pit and games for the kids. Plan ahead to coordinate your tree hunting expedition to be there when Santa is there too!
I had the opportunity to spend some time with Richard and Lisa and learned that they have planted over 3,000 trees on their farm. They have Leyland and Murray Cypress, Carolina Sapphire, Virginia Pine, White Pine and Eastern Red Cedar. They also purchase fresh cut Fraser Fir trees for folks who want the look that only a fir tree can provide. The trees are meticulously cared for and trimmed to the perfect Christmas tree shape that brings a smile to everyone. Both Richard and Lisa do the trimming themselves by hand all year long! It is definitely a labor of love. I chose a six foot tall Leyland Cypress and Richard was kind enough to cut it down for me.
The trees are beautiful but there is something else very special about Sokoll’s Christmas Tree Farm. The Sokoll’s want their farm to be a happy place for all of their visitors. Their motto is “Make a Memory” and they start their season by hosting a special day that is set aside for families with special needs children. The day is filled with arts and crafts projects, special snacks, play time in the amazing tree house that they have built, sitting around the fire pit and even a visit and snuggles from Hero, one of the gentle dogs who lives at the farm. He’s not exactly a reindeer, but he’s big and cuddly and will gladly accept hugs and pats from new friends.
Later in the season, Richard and Lisa host another special Christmas party for foster children and their families. A local church youth group volunteers their time to help out by playing with the children and serving snacks, assisting with the craft projects and climbing the tree house. Local volunteers are welcome, so I plan to volunteer this year too! Toy’s for Tot’s has partnered with Sokoll’s this year and will help provide Christmas gifts for every child who attends, no matter their age. A local restaurant has also offered to provide food and snacks! It is easy to see how this will become a local holiday tradition for years to come.
Spinkled in between those events are a visit from Santa, hay rides and hot chocolate! Sokoll’s Christmas Tree Farm might be a business, but it truly is so much more. Richard and Lisa hope to continue to grow not only trees, but precious Christmas memories for everyone who visits their farm. A visit to this special farm will surely show you that the spirit of Christmas is alive and well in Northern Alabama! Visit the link below to find out more about this special place and start your new family tradition this year! It’s worth your drive to Make a Memory! Meanwhile, here are some more photos of this very special place!
Be sure to take a look at Sokoll Christmas Tree Farm’s website for directions and hours of operation here:
Happy Trails… Shari Sullivan
Senior Editor for Girl Camper
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