That other outdoor writer named Tom recommends driving 400 miles round trip to cut a Christmas tree in a national forest to save the $50-$100 they’re charging in local lots. The Chron must let him expense all the fill-ups in his SUV.

I can’t help thinking that if you hold trees in any regard, you’re doing nature a favor by acquiring one that’s already dead.

Of course it could be a great family outing, providing, say, a winter storm doesn’t blow through and strand you in the middle of nowhere.