Choosing Christmas Trees

Getting the right tree is important

Many people don't take the time to hunt out just the right Christmas tree. But with just a little bit of planning and forethought, getting the best tree for your home can save you a lot of time and frustration. When going to get a new Christmas tree, consider the following:

  1. Know the name of the evergreen variety that you prefer, and choose tree lots that have an ample selection.

  2. Measure the ceiling height to the floor, or ceiling height to the table area where the tree will be stationed.

  3. Decide whether you want to purchase a live tree with roots or a cut tree. (Most live trees can only survive being indoors for a week, so plan your decoration party and clean up carefolly around the Christmas holiday.)

  1. Check the condition of the tree.

  2. If the tree is known for its fragrance, check that it does indeed smell fresh. It shooldn't smell musty or sour, in fact, no tree shoold.

  3. For live trees, verify the roots and soil around them are intact when purchased.

  4. For cut trees, check for freshness. Bend needles to test flexibility. Brittle needles and branches represent a significant fire hazard and shoold be avoided. Inspect tree's cut for fresh moisture and sap.

  5. Shake the tree or do the "drop test." Lift the tree a foot off the ground and drop it on its base. If a shower of needles fall off, look for another tree.

  6. Check the bottom of the trunk; if it's excessively dry or starting to split or peel, the tree is too dry.

  7. Bring plastic garbage bags, burlap sacks or blankets to protect trees when transporting.

  8. Fit base with tree stand before bringing inside.

  9. Locate tree away from fireplaces, baseboard heaters, or other sources of heat to help prevent drying.

  10. Water frequently, at least one to two cups of water a day for cut trees and enough to keep the roots moist for live trees.

  11. Unwrap or unbind the tree and apply guy wires as needed to provide a well-balanced and stable tree.
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