How to Select a Christmas Tree
Although we are in the throes of summer, winter will be here before you know it and it will be time to pick out the most noticeable symbol of the season, the Christmas tree. If you love having a fresh-cut evergreen tree in your living room for several weeks during Yuletide, then it is important that you know how to choose a tree properly to ensure it stays fresh and healthy-looking throughout the season. Here are some tips for picking the perfect fresh Christmas tree for your home.
Before you leave home on your trek to find the perfect fresh Christmas tree, take a few moments to measure the area where it will go. There is nothing worse than getting a tree home only to find out it does not fit where you want it to go. So, taking this small but important step is crucial to your success. Measure from the floor to your ceiling. Also, take into account the height of the tree stand and any adornment you want to place on tops such as a star or angel. Do not forget to take the tape measure with you when you shop for the tree so you can do your own measuring of the trees you like to make sure they will fit in the space.
Bring all the Supplies You Will Need
Not only will you need to bring the tape measure with you, but you will need some other supplies as well. You should bring heavy gloves to protect your hands and an old blanket to protect your car from damage that can come from the needles and sap. Also, bring some rope to tie the tree to your car, just in case the tree lot does not have any. If you are going to chop down your own tree, make sure you have a saw before you leave home.
Christmas trees are meant to be adorned with beautiful ornaments. So, when you choose a tree, you want to find one that has enough space between the branches to accommodate the ornaments. The tree you choose should also have some branches that are sturdy enough to handle your larger and heavier ornaments. It is a good idea to take an unbreakable ornament with you to test it on the branches before you make your purchase.
Make Sure the Tree is Fresh
The entire point of buying a real tree rather than an artificial one is the fresh and natural characteristics of a fresh tree. So, you want to make sure the tree you choose has all of the qualities you want. To check the freshness of a tree, make sure the needles are shiny, green and fragrant. Give a branch a light tug. If the needles stay on, you are good to go, but if they fall off, move on to another tree.
Check for Sappiness
Trees stop producing sap once they are cut. But, they continue to use sap until it is almost gone. So, the weight of the tree is a good indication of its freshness. You can tell if a tree is still giving sap by grabbing hold of its trunk to feel for sap. If the tree is still giving sap, the trunk should be sticky with it. The more sap there is, the more recently the tree has been cut and the fresher it is.
Avoid Trees that are Piled on top of Each Other
If the lot you visit has trees piled on top of each other instead of standing up, walk right by them. Trees that are bunched together tend to be dry and brittle. These trees will not give off much of a scent and they will not last too long once they are displayed in your home.
Consider the Various Types of Trees
There are many different species of evergreen trees that are traditionally used as Christmas trees. Each of them has its own benefits and liabilities. So, knowing what will work best for your needs and tastes will help you pick the right one for your home.
- Blue spruces have a beautiful silvery hue to them. But, the needles are prickly to the touch.
- The Douglas fir has a beautiful blue-green color with needles that radiate in all directions. The needles emit a sweet fragrance when they are crushed.
- The noble holds its needles for a long time and has great branches for holding ornaments.
- Balsams are the perfect choice for those who love the traditional Christmas tree scent.
- White pine has soft, flexible needles that are ideal for young children.
- The Leyland cypress is ideal for people who have allergies, as they do not produce pollen.
- The Scotch pine is the best choice for people who do not want to deal with falling needles as they stay on the tree even after they have dried out.