Pick the Perfect Christmas Tree
What to know and look for before you buy
From the LifeMinute.TV Team
November 30, 2021
Nothing ruins the Christmas spirit more than a tree drying up and turning brown prematurely. To avoid a Christmas tree catastrophe, follow these easy rules for scoping out the best one this season.
What to know before you go
Measure the space where you want to put your tree to avoid getting one that is too large. You should have a minimum of six inches between the top of your tree and the ceiling. If you are using a tree topper, such as a star or angel, allow for a foot of room. To avoid getting a tree that is too wide, make sure you also know the size of your tree stand. If you have to trim the trunk, you run the risk of removing the bark. That prevents the tree from absorbing sufficient water, and in turn, shortens the tree’s lifespan.
Where to go
Shopping local is best if you can. Locally grown trees are nearly always fresher than those that are harvested early and transported long distances.
What to look for
- The greener, the better: A tree that seems dull is probably not fresh.
- Observe from all angles: Make sure the tree is evenly full and look for any discoloration. Also, look closely at the trunk to make sure it is straight.
- Freshness check: Grasp a branch and pull it toward you. Very few needles should come off. Bounce the tree to see if the needles come off too. If exterior needles fall off, the tree is probably already dry. If only a few interior needles fall off, it should be fine.
- Space between branches: To hang ornaments evenly, ensure enough space between branches as this will help avoid overcrowding them too.
- Smell it: By taking a few needles and rubbing them in your hand, you can tell if the tree has a strong enough aroma.
Other things to keep in mind
If you have heavier ornaments and decorations, you will need a tree with strong branches. Noble fir and Douglas fir are two of the sturdiest trees. Consider the sharpness of the tree’s needles too. If you have small children or pets, you may want to opt for a tree with soft needles such as fir, balsam, Leyland cypress, or white pine. Lastly, don’t forget to give your tree a fresh cut before putting it up. To allow the tree to begin soaking up water immediately, as well as to remove any calluses that may have formed, remove a half-inch to an inch of the trunk.