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How to Select Live Christmas Trees

Updated on July 21, 2013
How to Pick Out the Best Christmas Tree
How to Pick Out the Best Christmas Tree | Source

Best Live Christmas Trees

Christmas just wouldn't be the same without Christmas trees. The Christmas tree is perhaps the most important part of your holiday decorations. It provides a place to display all your favorite ornaments, and it's also the spot where most people pile their gifts. The Christmas tree is usually placed in a focal point and often becomes the center of attention for several weeks. When it's all decked out with ornaments and lit up with twinkling lights, a Christmas tree can get even the grumpiest of Scrooges into the holiday spirit!

Although artificial Christmas trees have certainly come a long way in the past few years, many people still prefer real Christmas trees. Some folks just like the idea of having a natural rather than an artificial Christmas tree, and choosing such a tree might be a family tradition. Also, nothing beats the smell of a real tree! You just can't get that aroma in a can or in a candle. If you've opted for a live Christmas tree this year, it's pertinent that the tree is fresh enough to last through the season, not only for aesthetic purposes, but for safety reasons, as well. A dried-out tree is a fire hazard.

Follow the tips below to ensure that the Christmas tree you choose is appropriate:

Buying an xmas tree at a tree farm

The best place to find a healthy xmas tree is at Christmas tree farms. There, you can choose from among numerous growing, live Christmas trees. With a fresh cut Christmas tree, you know your tree will be super fresh instead of spending days or even weeks on a truck. A visit to the farm is a wonderful family holiday outing, too!

No matter what type of live Christmas tree you're looking for, you can probably find Christmas tree farms that grow them. Most every tree farm prunes and shapes their live Christmas trees to be visually appealing. You can find several types of Christmas trees at tree farms. The most common types of Christmas trees found at Christmas tree farms are the Virginia pine, the cedar, the Scotch pine Christmas tree, and the fir Christmas tree.

Tips for choosing the best Christmas tree at a tree farm

* Before you go, measure the area in your home where the tree will be placed, including your ceiling height. You can't properly judge a tree's size in the field because you have nothing for reference. Once you cut the Christmas tree and get it home, it'll be a different story. The cut Christmas tree will look much larger when you get it inside.

* Check the trees for dried or dead branches. These could be a sign of disease or insect infestation. Also, look at the trunk for scarring and excess seepage.

* Choose a tree with a straight trunk. You'll have a choice of numerous Christmas trees at a tree farm, so why choose one with a crooked trunk? Take the time needed to find the best Christmas tree there.

* View the tree from all angles to make sure there are no bare spaces.

* Take along a pair of gloves for handling the tree. The tree farm will most likely do the cutting for you. Call ahead to be sure.

Don't choose a cut Christmas tree by color alone

You can't depend on the color of a cut Christmas tree to be your guide. It might surprise you to know that many live Christmas trees have been spray-painted green to enhance their looks. Of course, the problem with this practice for the consumer is that the paint can make even a live christmas tree that's practically half dead look acceptable. That's why it's important to use the following guide when choosing a cut Christmas tree.

Choosing a cut Christmas tree

The problem with a cut Christmas tree is that you have no way of knowing when the tree was harvested. It could have been sitting on the lot for days without water.

* Smell the tree. It should have a clean, fragrant odor. Most people find that a fir Christmas tree has the best and strongest aroma. A pine Christmas tree will have a distinctly "piney" smell, and a cedar xmas tree will smell somewhat like cedar wood. All live Christmas trees, however, should smell good.

* Shake the tree. No green needles should fall off. It's normal for a few brown needles to shed, however. The green needles should be alive and not shed easily from the live Christmas tree.

* Break a needle with your fingers. A pine Christmas tree needle should be pliable and not break. Needles from other species, like from a fir Christmas tree, should break easily, much like a stalk of fresh celery.

* Choose a small branch and bend it. If the xmas tree is fresh, the branch will be pliable. If it snaps in two, choose another tree. Such a Christmas tree is far passed its prime and will not last long in your home.

* Check the trunk for moisture loss. The trunk should appear relatively smooth. If it appears wrinkled, the tree is too dry. Also, the trunk should be straight.

* View the tree form a distance to make sure there are no gaps or holes. These are often difficult to spot up close, but when you get your Christmas tree home and in your living room or other location, these gaps will be glaring..

Once you get your live Christmas tree home, follow tips for preparing and maintaining your Christmas tree, found among the links below.

Kids love Christmas tree farms!
Kids love Christmas tree farms!

How to choose a real Christmas tree:

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