ATASCADERO — Hidden Springs Tree Farm in Atascadero, located off Monterey Road, has been a staple in the North County for decades and can provide you the perfect tree for your long-awaited Hallmark moment.

The tree farm has been a part of family traditions for over 58 years. Family owned and operated, Fred and Wanda Frank established the farm back in the 1930s, and in 1962 Fred Frank Jr. convinced his parents to start growing Christmas trees on a small section of the farm. 

Fast forward to 2020; the tree farm is now operated by third and fourth generations, the Dobbs.  

Now with most other holidays that have come and gone throughout the pandemic, this holiday season will look a bit different but with the goal of keeping the annual family tradition alive. 

To keep your tree hunting experience safe and just as memorable as it always has been, Hidden Springs Tree Farm has implemented a few changes due to COVID-19. 

As Auraly Dobbs puts it, “We’re going back to the classic Christmas experience.” 

Photo by Hayley Mattson

To follow COVID safety precautions, Hidden Springs has created the following guidelines:

  • Mask required while on farm
  • Discourage groups of more than 8
  • Sanitizing stations for saws and carts
  • No photographers on the property during selling season (Unless you are a family taking pictures of your tree buying experience, we will not allow photographers this year to keep group sizes down)
  • No shaking or bailing (We are not offering these services this year but will provide a free bailing alternative to our customers)
  • We will have stands for sale. If you own a spike stand, we will be happy to drill it for you, so please ask one of our employees
  • We will have pre-cut Monterey pines of over 12 ft. available for purchase in our pre-cut area
  • Brochure with a map outlining a one-way path around crowded areas will be provided
  • No food or beverages offered
  • Card payments are accepted, and we will take the exact change
  • Offering senior hours on Fridays at 1-3 p.m.

Families are still welcome to bring their thermoses and snacks to enjoy while looking for their special tree. 

And homegrown chestnuts will still be sold. A perfect addition to your roasting fire at home.

Rainfall this spring was ideal for the trees meaning there’s a large inventory for customers to choose from this year. 

“The trees look great,” Auraly said.

There are trees for every budget. All trees that are available for cut down have a tag marked with the price. Families can even visit the “misfit” section as well.

Discounted misfit trees tend to have some damage from deer or grew up a little funky, or are unsymmetrical.

Being the only “cut your own tree” farm in the area, the farm has been a staple for the community during the Christmas season for generations.

What started as one tree lot is now five lots with nine different tree varieties, and every year, they plant their trees by hand after the Christmas season. 

But even though Hidden Springs Farm did not start with Christmas trees, the driveway to the Franks home was lined with Monterey Pines. One holiday season, they decided to cut down some of the trees and leave them at the end of the driveway for people to take.

Once their tree business began to expand, it became a ‘honk for a tree’ business.

“We have this cool old sign over here that says ‘honk if you want a Christmas tree.’ People would just come up and honk, and they would just come out of their house and take their money and get a saw,” Craig Dobbs said.

The farm has expanded to 10 acres of Christmas trees and operated by Frank’s daughter, Auraly Dobbs, and her family. They continue to work hard every year to be able to provide the cherished family tradition of cutting down your very own tree. 

Hidden Springs Tree Farm opens on Nov. 27 and will close on Dec. 19, possibly sooner, depending on inventory.

Hidden Springs Tree Farm is located at 3202 Monterey Rd., Atascadero. Visit it online at hiddenspringschristmastreefarm.com.

Getting through this together, Atascadero