Justin and Alicia Walz of Port Angeles load up a freshly cut Christmas tree at Lazy J Tree Farm east of Port Angeles on Friday. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Justin and Alicia Walz of Port Angeles load up a freshly cut Christmas tree at Lazy J Tree Farm east of Port Angeles on Friday. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

That special tree: Peninsula residents have U-cut options for Christmas

PORT ANGELES — One family will vacuum a lot of pine needles this winter.

Ann Johnson, who owns and operates Lazy J Tree Farm with her husband, Steve Johnson, said a single family hauled off seven Christmas trees Friday, the farm’s opening day of the season.

Lazy J, a fourth-generation farm at 225 Gehrke Road, is among the places that offer trees visitors can cut themselves.

It offers daily hours from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. until Christmas Day for North Olympic Peninsula residents or visitors to cut down their own trees.

Customers pay $7.40 per foot of tree, unless they choose a bargain tree, which varies from $20 to $30. The tree varieties include primarily Nordmann fir, but also noble fir, Douglas fir, Turkish fir, grand fir and a few sequoias, ranging from 5-feet to 12-feet tall, owner Steve Johnson said.

Ann Johnson estimated the farm holds roughly 6,000 trees (at least more than a simple count can capture).

Customers may cut their own with a farm-provided saw, or bring a saw of choice.

After braving the elements on the hunt for the perfect tree, visitors can recoup alongside the fire pit with a cup of hot apple cider. The farm also sells wreaths, greenery, apples, Asian pears, cherries, potatoes, garlic, honey and rhubarb, as well as Christmas gifts.

Lazy J invites customers back after Christmas. Once all the ornaments and tinsel retreats into boxes, people can bring their trees back to the farm to be composted free of charge.

“I do that because I’m in the business,” Steve Johnson said. “It’s a fun business to be in.”

For more information, call Lazy J Tree Farm at 360-457-5950.

Deer Park Tree Farm

Deer Park Tree Farm, 4227 Deer Park Road, will sell trees to repeat customers this winter from dawn to dusk every day, owner Ken Nattinger said.

“I’m holding my own right now with repeat customers,” said Nattinger, who also opened only to regulars last year due to a limited stock of trees. “When I get too many trees [in future years], then I might have a reopening — a grand reopening.”

Nattinger’s estimated 70 trees represent Nordmann fir, Douglas fir, noble fir, grand fir, pine, Scotch pine and white pine.

All trees cost $7 per foot, though not to exceed $50, Nattinger said.

Olympic National Forest

Adventurous tree seekers can opt for a permit to fetch their own from the Olympic National Forest through Saturday, Dec 23.

Permits, good for one U-cut tree, cost $5 each unless you’re in the fourth grade. As part of the Every Kid in a Park Initiative, fourth-grade students are eligible for a free tree permit with a valid paper voucher printed from www.everykidinapark.gov.

Fourth-grader permits are not available at the Hoodsport office or Sequim Visitor Information Center or during weekend hours in Quilcene. Mail order requests for permits are no longer accepted.

Permits are available at the following Olympic Peninsula locations and hours, except for holidays, according to a news release, which recommends visitors phone to confirm hours.

Sequim Visitor Information Center, 1192 E. Washington St., is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday; 360-683-6690.

Pacific Ranger District-Quinault, 353 S. Shore Road, is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday; 360-288-2525.

• Pacific Ranger District-Forks, 437 Tillicum Lane, is open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday; 360-374-6522.

• Hood Canal Ranger District-Quilcene, 295142 Highway 101, is open 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; 360-765-2200.

• Hoodsport Visitor Information Center, 150 N. Lake Cushman Road, is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday; 360-877-2021.

• Olympic National Forest Headquarters, 1835 Black Lake Blvd. SW in Olympia, is open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday; 360-956-2402.

________

Reporter Sarah Sharp can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56650, or at [email protected].

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