Picking the Perfect Christmas Tree

As the holiday season approaches, we’re once again faced with the question, “What kind of Christmas tree should I get? And how can I keep it healthy, so it lasts all season long?”

The experts at J&D Tree Pros can help! With these tips for choosing the best real Christmas tree and keeping it healthy through the season, you’ll have the best Christmas tree on the block.

 

Types of Christmas Trees

There are many different species of trees for you to choose from while shopping for your ideal Christmas tree, so it’s essential to know the different characteristics of each type to find the perfect match for you.

Douglas Fir has a compact, pyramid shape with beautiful green to blue-green needles. It is a dependable tree that will last the entire season. The tree has dense foliage with needles that can grow up to 1.5 inches in length. These sturdy branches are great for hanging ornaments and decorating. The Douglas Fir makes up nearly half of all Christmas trees grown in the United States.

Fraser Fir has a strong pine smell and is more slender than other firs, so its a great fit for smaller rooms. Its branches turn slightly upward, giving it a more compact look. The branches of the Fraser Fir are also known for being extra sturdy, making this Christmas tree an excellent option for heavy ornaments, Christmas garland, and other holiday decorations. 

Noble Fir has a blue-green color with dense branches that are evenly spaced along the trunk of this evergreen tree. This tree also retains its needles well, making it ideal for a home with small children or pets. The branches are stiff, which means they can hold heavier ornaments. And if you need to cut the lower branches off, they are perfect for wreaths and garland. 

Balsam Fir is a two-toned tree with green needles on top that become silvery toward the bottom. The Balsam fir is a tall, slender tree, which is an excellent choice if you have limited space. However, its branches are flexible, so if you have heavy ornaments, this isn’t the tree for you. This evergreen tree not only looks good but smells good too, staying fragrant all season long. Giving off that classic Christmas scent only makes it an even more popular Christmas tree choice. 

 

The Freshness of Christmas Trees

Once you know the type of tree you want, you want to ensure your Christmas tree is fresh and healthy so that it can last all season. 

As you shop for your real Christmas tree, pay attention to the color and strength of the branches. Look for a healthy, green tree with the least amount of brown needles. Its needles should look shiny, green, and fresh. Avoid trees with brown or dry needles.

Falling needles are a sign that the tree isn’t as fresh any more. The worst part about a Christmas tree is vacuuming up all of its pine needles after the holiday season is over. When you’re shopping for your tree, too many fallen needles while it’s on display is a sign of an unhealthy Christmas tree. Run a few branches through your hands. The branches shouldn’t crunch in your hand; they should be flexible. The needles should feel pliable and not fall off. If the needles don’t come off, then the tree is healthy and will stay alive.

 

Measure, Measure, Measure

There’s nothing worse than picking out the best Christmas tree on the lot, getting it home, and finding out it’s too tall. Before you leave home, measure both your ceiling height and the height of your Christmas tree stand, so you don’t have to recut the tree when you get home.

Once you pick your ideal tree, ask an employee at the Christmas tree lot to cut off about a half-inch from the bottom of the tree’s trunk, or cut it when you get home. The fresh cut will absorb more water, allowing your tree to hold its needles and keep its color longer. Put the tree in water as soon as you can after it is cut.

 

How To Keep Your Tree Fresh

Once you’ve found the perfect tree and set it up at home, you need to keep it fresh throughout the entire holiday season. A fresh tree not only smells nicer than a dry, brittle tree, but it’ll also drop fewer needles, remain greener for longer, and pose much less of a fire hazard.

Even though it might look nice, it is best not to put the Christmas tree close to a fireplace because the heat will dry out the tree faster. Trees thrive in colder temperatures and lots of light. If you lower the temperature in the room, it can help slow down the drying process (and therefore result in your tree requiring a bit less water), according to the National Christmas Tree Association.

Don’t forget to regularly give your Christmas tree water — too little can cause resin to form, which means the tree won’t absorb water and it will dry out quickly. Here’s an easy way to figure out how much water your tree needs: for every inch of the trunk’s diameter, fill the stand with one quart of water. The base of the cut tree should never dry out, so keep the needles fresh by checking the water level every day.

Even though you’ve heard people talk about adding things like bleach, corn syrup, aspirin, and sugar to the water, tree preservatives and additives are probably unnecessary. Most experts agree that plain water is all you need to keep a tree fresh. Just remember to check the water level daily — it should always cover the cut end of the trunk. Refill as needed.

 

By following these tips from the experts on how to choose and care for a Christmas tree, your holiday is sure to be merry and bright. Questions? Call a local certified tree care specialist at J&D Tree Pros.

Sources:

National Christmas Tree Association
Department of Horticulture, Penn State

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