5 Tips for Picking the Best Real Christmas Tree
Are you considering a real Christmas tree this year?
It’s that time of year when stores are filled with every Christmas decoration imaginable. Blinking lights, miniature mangers, and Christmas trees deck the isles. While some families decide that they will go the fake route when buying their Christmas tree, many want that fresh smell of evergreen filling their home.
Whether your family makes picking out their Christmas tree an annual tradition, or you are trying it out for the first time, it can feel like an overwhelming process. Here are 5 great tips to help you in your process of finding and maintaining the perfect real Christmas tree.
Tip 1 – Measuring
The first thing you will want to do when picking out your Christmas tree is to measure the size of the room that you are planning to put your new tree in. Can you imagine putting all that time and effort picking out the best tree only to have it not fit in your house? When you measure the height of your home, make sure to search for a tree that has a size that will fit comfortably in that room, keeping in mind the stand and any decorations you want to place at the top of the tree.
Tip 2 – Choosing the Type of Tree
When picking out a Christmas tree, you might be surprised to learn that there are a number of different types of trees to choose from.
- Colorado Blue Spruce
This tree is native to the Rocky Mountains. Its silvery blue-green coloring is a dazing sight, and it has the perfect Christmas tree shape.
- Noble Fir
This Pacific Northwest native has a full rounded symmetrical shape making it a great pick. The super strong limbs make for great supports for heavy ornaments.
- Balsam Fir
This tree is known for its amazing smell that immediately reminds you of Christmas. The best part of this tree is that it sheds very little. The dark green needles slop upward to the thinning top giving it that beautiful Christmas tree look.
- Douglas Fir
Looking for a lighter tree that is easy to transport home? This might be your tree as the weight is lighter than other varieties. The needles of this fir tree are a blue-green or dark green color.
- Fraser Fir
You can tell a Fraser from a balsam by the silvery stripes that are found on the underside of each needle. These trees are also idea because they do such a great job of retaining their needles.
- Scotch Pine
This tree boasts of a bright green to bluish color and has a soft, fluffy look.
- Concolor Fir
This is an all-around great tree to pick for Christmas as it has a great Christmas aroma, needle retention, shape and color.
- White Pine
This tree was known to the Native American’s as the “Tree of Peace” and makes for another great Christmas tree option.
Tip 3 – Choosing a Place to Buy Your Christmas Tree
When you decide to go with a real Christmas tree and you have chosen what type of tree you are looking at getting, the next decision you will need to make is where to buy your tree. You can choose from buying your tree from a local store like Home Depot or you might want to visit a local Christmas tree farm where you can chop down the tree yourself.
It is encouraged to buy a tree from a tree farm as the tree will be freshly cut and is going to last longer than works that’s been cut and shipped to different stores. Whatever you decide, you will want to confirm that they have the type of tree you are looking to bring home.
Tip 4 – Choosing the Right Tree
When you are looking for trees in the store or at a tree farm, you want to make sure to steer clear of trees with a large number of dead or browning needles. This is a sign that the tree is already past its prime. To check, gently stroke the branch on the tree and make sure you notice a flexibility of the needles and that most of the needles remain on the tree.
Tip 5 – Caring for Your Christmas Tree
Once you have found the perfect Christmas tree for your family, you will want to make sure you take good care of your new tree. This way, you will help to keep the tree green and healthy looking.
Choose a spot in your home that is clear and away from open flames or heat sources. Corners make great places. Then, cover the floor where the tree will be placed. A tree skirt can be used or some Christmas themed paper.
The next thing you need is a stand that will hold your tree. Make sure to find one that will fit your tree. There are special tree cradles or stands that screw into the base of the tree and provide a place for the water. Another option for a tree stand is to use a bucket filled with small rocks around the trunk.
If you use this method, you will want to place the tree in first and then add the rocks for stability. The tree will need 1 quart of water for every inch in trunk diameter. You will want to fit the stand to the tree, not the tree to the stand. If you were to cut back the outside of the wood of your tree, you would be taking the most efficient part of the tree for bringing in water.
Next, prepare the base of your tree. Make a fresh cut to remove about ½ inch thick disk of wood from the base of the trunk before your place your tree in the stand. The best way to cut the tree is to use a chainsaw or a manual saw.
A tree can go up to 8 hours without water, so make sure to mount the tree within that time frame. Then, with two people, put the tree up. One person can help to hold it stable while the other fixes the base. The tree will drink water like crazy, so make sure it has plenty. A well-watered tree will shed much less needles and make for easier clean up.
Buying a real Christmas tree can be a beautiful and magical tradition. Using these 5 tips will help make choosing a tree easy and fun.
Have you ever had a real Christmas tree? What is your favorite part about having one in your home?