Our History

In 1965…

Ed Gilden, a U.C. Berkeley Forestry professor, and his wife, Tee, began searching for an ideal location to start a Christmas tree farm in the East Bay. They found the perfect spot just north of Castro Valley in the picturesque East Bay hills on East Bay MUD property.  A lease was signed and the first planting of trees followed in February of 1967.  Sales of trees started in December of 1969, and the Castro Valley Christmas Tree Farm became an immediate hit for families who wanted to enjoy a “woodsy” experience and cut down a fresh, quality Christmas tree.  In 1974 Paul Illingworth took over management of the farm and eventually, in 2004 upon Ed’s retirement, he took over ownership of the farm.  The farm has changed over the 40+ years of operation, but we still strive to provide a high quality Christmas tree and a fun, outdoor experience for all our customers. 

Owner Paul Illingworth and daughters Castro Valley Tree Farm 1984

“Such an awesome place! Feels like you’re a million miles away from everything, but it’s just down the street! Thank you for the fun”

Virginia Spain