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Real Christmas Trees-selecting the best one!
Real Christmas tree
Real Christmas tree
How many memories do you have bundling up with loved ones, going into the winter wonderland and finding the perfect real Christmas tree? If your family made it a tradition to find a real tree each year, you probably have many fond memories. Maybe as you read this you are recalling a specific year, time or place.
There are many benefits to having a real Christmas tree. They are natural, leave a lighter foot-print on the planet, smell fantastic, create wonderful memories, are generally easy to maintain, and are usually cost effective. Some can be replanted, others are one time use. Either way, a real tree is not soon forgotten, and provides some real life Christmas magic to your home! This article will help you select the best real Christmas tree!
Considerations before buying a real Christmas tree
Many people are deciding to go "green", and buying a real Christmas tree is no exception. There are a three main things to consider before venturing out to buy your tree.
- Consider your space. A lot of trees will look smaller when you are in front of them, or when they are in an open field or farm. Measure the space and get dimensions for where you plan on putting it. This will save time and potential headaches later. Larger trees can be harder to handle! Get a size smaller if you don't have the manpower to move it. Since nature is unique and trees come in all shapes: round, skinny, bushy as well as sizes, widths, and heights, etc...measuring is important.
- Consider how you will set up your tree, care for it, and dispose of it, before you buy! A Christmas tree stand is a must!
- If you have pets or small children, make sure they will not climb it, eat it, or knock it over.
Christmas tree stand
Get your tree stand
A tree stand is very important when having a real Christmas tree.
- It should be easy to setup, fill with water, and durable to use for many years. Plastic NOT metal. Metal will rust.
- It should hold about 1 quart of water per inch of stem diameter. Anywhere from 6-10 quarts is usually adequate.
- It should be stable and fit the tree size you choose, enabling it to stand upright without falling over or tilting.
Many tree farms sell stands and can help you find one that will fit the tree size you've chosen if you are unsure. Most stands that are not to fancy will cost $15-$25 USD.
Christmas tree farm
Head to a local tree farm!
Once you've determined that you're buying a real tree, head to your local Christmas tree farm. In rural locations, these can be simple roadside stands where you pick out a tree already cut and baled (bound together with twine), or they can be farms where you head into a field and choose the tree, either cutting it yourself, or with the help of an attendant.
Don't end up with this
8 Signs You've Chosen the Best
- Green needles
- Grab a branch and pull it towards you, if a lot of needles fall off, you may want to pass that tree up. Needles should remain on the branch.
- Pay attention to how the trees are kept and maintained on the tree farm.
- If the tree was pre-cut, ask when it was done, the longer the time, the dryer the tree will be.
- Shake the tree and make sure there are no animals or critters that have taken up residence, sounds obvious, but it's often over-looked.
- To stay safe-ask the tree farm if they will fireproof your tree. This is done with a flame retardant spray.
- Bring a pocket knife with you, and scrape a tiny part of the branch, it should be moist and green. Don't go around scraping every tree, this is damaging, only do this to a tree you are seriously considering buying, or you may make the tree farm owners mad. You can also do this by snapping a branch piece in half and looking inside.
- Pay attention to the "snap" factor...when you snap a branch, does it make a loud "snap" sound and is it easy to snap? If so, the tree is to dry. You'll want to look for branches that "bow" a bit when you snap them, this is a sign of a healthy tree.
Once you've found your Christmas tree, shake out any loose needles and have it baled for easier transporting, that is, if it has not been baled already.
Also keep in mind a pre-cut tree, one that has been sitting for more than 6 hours needs to have 1 inch cut off again in order to allow it to uptake water correctly, so make sure you ask for that to be done.
Mini Christmas lights
Care and maintenance for the best Christmas tree you've ever owned!
- Place the tree in water as soon as possible, be careful not to damage, bruise or dirty the fresh surface of where the tree was cut. This spot is like an open wound for the tree.
- Keep your tree away from sources of heat (fireplaces, heaters, heat vents, direct sunlight). Also, lowering the room temperature will slow the drying process, which means your tree will drink and require less water. Remember, Christmas trees are evergreen for a reason, they thrive in colder climates.
- You do not have to worry about the temperature of the water in the stand, this is irrelevant.
- Check the tree stand daily and make sure the level of water does not go below the base of the tree.
- Use "low heat" lights on your tree, such as LED, to prevent drying.
- When the tree is dry, or after the holiday, remove it from your home. Don't just throw it away! They are biodegradable, take your tree to a recycling center, mulch it, or replant it if you've been able to get a tree with the root system still intact.
Still can't decide?
- Real Christmas tree vs artificial
How do you know what kind of Christmas tree to get? Real vs. artificial, what are the pro's and con's for each?
© 2013 Rebecca