Magical memories for years to come
Start a Family Tradition
Take a walk in the beautiful Loess Hills and find a great Christmas tree for your family. Horse Creek Farm is located west of Sidney, Iowa in a valley of the Loess Hills. We at Horse Creek Adventures want you to enjoy your outdoor experience riding in a wagon through the field as you decide on your tree. We have several thousand trees in the field with at least 400 ready each Christmas Season. You can choose between Scotch Pine and Canaan Firs. The Scotch Pine is the more traditional Christmas tree with long needles and plenty of places to hang ornaments. The Canaan Fir is a cross between the Fraser Fir and Balsam Fir. It has the shape of the Fraser and the fragrance of the Balsam. One advantage of fir trees is that their needles are short and remain soft throughout the Christmas season.
When you have found a tree, you can either cut it down using a hand saw that we provide or we will cut your tree for you. We load the tree on the wagon and take you back to the shop. At the shop, we shake the tree to get rid of excess needles and bag the tree to help you get it home. All of these services are free of charge, part of the experience we provide.
Once your tree is ready to go, warm up in the shop with free Apple Cider or Hot Chocolate while browsing our selection of fresh wreathes, craft items, Christmas decorations and garland.
About the Fraser Fir
Fraser fir was named for John Fraser (1750-1811), a Scottish born botanist who explored the southern Appalachian Mountains in the late 18th century. Native to the southern Appalachians, North Carolina produces the majority of Fraser fir Christmas trees. It requires from 7 to 10 years in the field to produce a 6-7 feet tree.
Fraser fir is a uniformly pyramid-shaped tree which reaches a maximum height of about 80 feet and a diameter of 1-1.5 feet. Strong branches are turned slightly upward which gives the tree a compact appearance.
The combination of form, needle retention, dark blue-green color, pleasant scent and excellent shipping characteristics has led to Fraser fir being a most popular Christmas tree species.
Want a fresh tree but do not have time for walking through the trees to select one?
A popular option is to choose a select precut tree. Each year, we bring in a selection of Fraser Firs, White Pine and Scotch pine from Wisconsin. We are fresh tree people, so we are very picky about what precut trees we sell. We want our precuts as fresh as we can get them. Our customers tell us they are very pleased with their trees.
Christmas Tree Preservative
(thanks to Jack Eden, past Washington Post garden editor)
1 pt. clear Karo syrup
4 oz. liquid chlorine bleach
2 oz. kitchen vinegar
½ tsp 20-Mule-Team Borax
Rest the tree on the ground and use a saw to remove an inch of the tree trunk at the base to expose fresh tissue to your preservative. Now, stand the trunk of the tree in the solution in an enclosed garage or in a protected spot outdoors so the wind won't topple the tree from the container. The tree must stay in the preservative five days before in can be moved indoors and decorated.
Here's how it works:
By making a fresh cut at the base of the tree trunk, you expose hundreds upon hundreds of ascending food channels (xylem tubes, to the scientific) to the preservative solution. The first ingredient absorbed by xylem tubes is the Borax (boron to the evergreen). Inside of 24 hours, Borax is moved to every living cell of the tree, regardless of its distance from the base of the trunk. Once in place, boron instructs the tree to move sugar to these living cells. Here, the only sugar source is the glucose provided by the corn syrup (Karo syrup) in the container. Immediately, glucose begins moving through the same xylem tubes. Because glucose is dissolved in water, the water quickly moves upwards through the xylem tubes to reach all living cells. In five days, your cut Christmas tree has more water than when it was actively growing at the tree farm. With water filling every needle and branch, the tree won't be a hazard in the house, regardless of how long it's decorated.