Let’s face it, nothing beats having a real Christmas tree. While I prefer a live one that I can plant, that isn’t always optimal so the next option is a “fresh cut” tree. Whether you drive to a Christmas tree farm to cut your own or simply pick one up from a tree lot here are a few things to remember (or if this is your first one – things to consider).
Location, location, location – A tree does take up real estate so make sure you know where you are going to place it. It would be wise to measure not only the height of the space (don’t forget about the star that goes on top) but also the widest width it can be while allowing one to walk around it.
Trust but verify – while many places have the trees organized by size, it would be wise to bring the tape measure with you. This is especially true if you are cutting your own as the trees seemingly seem smaller than they are… well at least until you get them home.
Not all trees are created equal – when you are out looking at the trees, think about how you are going to decorate it. For example if you are looking at hanging large ornaments or string lights a one that has thicker branches might be better even if it doesn’t appear as full as another. Take a whiff – some trees have a stronger “pine” smell than others, just like some will dry out &/or lose their needles faster. Don’t be afraid to ask at the tree lot or do some research first.
The fresher the better – at maximum a cut tree will be good for up to 4 weeks, so don’t be afraid to ask when it was cut or when the next shipment is coming in. A few simple checks are;
- Give the tree a good shake or run your fingers through the branches to see how easily the needles fall off. If they fall off en masse the tree is too dry / stressed & no matter how much water you use your time is limited.
- Give the needles a light tug, they should feel like they are attached and not just come off with no resistance.
- Grab a small branch & bend it a little. It should feel pliable & not simply snap
We can make it better – uh no you can’t in the case of flocking as the tree are generally no longer recyclable & in the case of DIY kits may make it more flammable. A sprayed on desiccant on the other hand can help hold in the moisture longer & there are generally no issues with recycling them.
Looking for more advice, tips & tricks, or checklists so you don’t forget something? Make sure you check out our Holiday & Vacations How-To Section & of course the related articles following each article.