By Bill Dudley
Photo by Michael Hixon

Photo by Michael Hixon

Many consider the Silvertip Fir to be the perfect Christmas Tree. I am one of those people. Wide spaces between the branches leave room for larger decorations.

Also known as Noble Firs, it is hard to  find Silvertips on lots in Southern California, and if you do, they are very expensive. So, each year I travel way up North to the Sierra Nevada mountains to find one.

Photo by Michael Hixon

Photo by Michael Hixon

Once you purchase an inexpensive  permit from the US Forest Service, you can venture up to approved areas where Silvertips abound. This year, I visited the small town of Quincy, California, about 80 miles Northwest of Reno. A 1/2 hour ride on a dirt road in my friend Steve Tolen’s Jeep, took us to an elevation of 8500 feet.

There, we found hundreds of gorgeous Silvertips. It was a family affair, as Steve’s daughter Ashley, and son Steve Jr. are experts at tree hunting. Junior snagged a 14 foot beauty for his mother, and a shorter one for us. In two trips over two days, we left the magnificent forest with five beautiful trees. I drove mine back down Highway 395 amongst splendid scenery, especially near the tiny town of Bishop.

Ashley With Our Tree

Photo by Michael Hixon

My neighbors always comment on how much easier the Silvertips are to decorate, which to me means more space for my 1950’s bubble lights. You don’t have to go to Reno or Quincy to cut down your own Silvertip. The beautiful fir trees are also grown near Yosemite and Big Bear. Make sure you have a permit, and grab your own in a legal area to do so. Your family and neighbors will definitely notice the difference.


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