Harvest a Christmas tree the old-fashioned way in Orland

Harvest a wild, open-grown balsam at Great Pond Mountain Wildlands in Orland, noon-3 p.m. Sundays, Dec. 1 and 8, and while you’re there, hitch a hayride and visit the bonfire with hot cocoa and cookies.

Courtesy of Great Pond Mountain Wildlands Visitors to the Wildlands enjoy a hayride with their hand-picked Christmas tree in December 2012.

Courtesy of Great Pond Mountain Wildlands
Visitors to the Wildlands enjoy a hayride with their hand-picked Christmas tree in December 2012.

The first tree will cost $25, and additional trees or greens for the same family will be $10. Cutting help and handsaws will be available, but chainsaws will not be allowed.

Visitors can access the Wildlands from the North Gate on Bald Mountain Road (0.2 mile west of the Winkumpaugh Road intersection) or South Gate on Route 1 (just south of the Route 176 intersection in East Orland).

If it snows, check www.greatpondtrust.org or call 469-6929 for updates, changes or cancellations.

This year’s sponsors are Bangor Savings Bank, Ellsworth-Bucksport Dental Associates and Dave’s Tractor Services.

Personal note: For as long as I can remember, my family has harvested Christmas trees at Piper Mountain tree farm in Newburgh. The hot cider, donuts, crowded ornament shop and wall of wreaths have become a holiday tradition for me. We’re fortunate here in Maine to have so many places where we can harvest a beautiful tree and bask in the holiday cheer.

I’ve been to Great Pond Mountain Wildlands several times to hike and walk my dog, and so this event caught my attention. I can only imagine that such an event would make for another great holiday tradition — if you’re looking for that sort of thing.

Aislinn Sarnacki

About Aislinn Sarnacki

Professionally, Aislinn is a Bangor Daily News reporter for the "Outdoor" and "Living" pages. She's a wilderness romper and fashion-forward bookworm.