Family Owned and Operated for over 50 years
Established in 1962
Hidden Springs Christmas Tree Farm was established in the 1930’s by Fred and Wanda Frank. The Frank’s have been in Atascadero since the colony’s start. Fred Frank was one of the first citizens to work at the Atascadero fire department, established in 1926, and became the second fire chief in 1929. The farm in the 1930’s produced various crops including hay, wheat and fruit.
In 1962 their only son, Fred Frank Jr. (“Freddie) graduated from Humboldt State University with a degree in Forestry. He convinced his parents to start growing Christmas trees on a small section of the farm. The business has now expanded to 10 acres. The tree farm today is operated by the third and fourth generations, the Dobbs.
The Apartments at the farm are part of the original farmhouse Fred and Wanda lived in. There have been family weddings and celebrations in the courtyard on the farm. We now have one apartment open as an Airbnb, that you’re welcome to book and stay at!
Christmas trees need a lot of upkeep through the year on the Central Coast because of the warm temperatures, light rainfall and animals (mainly deer and gophers). Every year we plant our trees by hand after Christmas season and this past year we planted about 2,000 seedlings. The maintenance on the farm includes pruning, mowing and watering during the spring, summer and fall seasons. The hardest process of Christmas tree farming is it can take anywhere from five-fifteen years for a tree to be full grown and ready to be cut down depending on the type of tree. This means we must regularly maintain our crop and not all trees come out perfect.
We are open from the Friday after Thanksgiving to the middle of December and also import pre-cut trees for the types that we can’t grow here on the Central Coast, mainly the Noble Fir and Grand Fir. These typically are grown in Oregon and Washington at higher elevations and wetter climates. We grow about nine different varieties and are experimenting with different trees to see what type of trees do well in our climate. Our latest experiment was the Austrian Pine, which is a cool shade of light blue/ green. Our most popular varieties are the Douglas Fir they have soft needles, are usually very round and fluffy and are safe for pets. The Monterey Pine, which is one of our tallest varieties, and has long needles and a very strong scent. The Blue spruce is, yes… Blue! It is one of our slowest growing trees and is very prickly. We also have a variety of animals, flowers, plants and trees on the farm. We grow apples and peaches, as well as chestnuts to sell at Christmas time. You can find the chestnut trees along the driveway. There are also wild blackberries and mint grown along the pond and creek, as well as lemon verbena along the rows of trees. And we also have a small heard of cattle to help graze the property and the newest addition is a barnyard kitty named popcorn you may see walking around!
During selling season we have free hot apple cider available, as well as popcorn for sale. Popcorn kitty came last christmas season to eat the leftovers and has never left, hence the name!
One of our main goals is to be a sustainable farm and promote buying locally. Christmas tree farms are a huge producer of oxygen and help process carbon dioxide deposits, as well as produce a sustainable product. We have kept all of our practices the same since the farm started 56 years ago and plan to keep the farm running for future generations.
Come join us this Christmas season,