Take a stroll through any one of the tree farms scattered along the byway. Never picked your own tree? Maybe it’s time to start a new holiday tradition. Farms offer a variety of trees and often have wreaths, gift shops and hot cocoa. Select a fresh, grown in Illinois tree for the holiday and help support the local economy. A typical tree farmer manages the trees for 6 to 10 years before a tree is mature enough to cut (6 to 7 feet tall). Real trees can be recycled as well, into things like wood chips or mulch, and used for fish and waterfowl habitats.