Choosing the Right Live Christmas Tree

By Ashley Chapmen

In Decoration
Nov 26th, 2015

Christmas comes, but once a year and the tree you are about to pick out has to be perfect for your living room as well as family traditions. Unlike artificial trees, picking a live Christmas tree requires a lot of knowledge and understanding of how to care for them not only for our safety, but your families as well. Your first decision is to decide where you will get the live Christmas tree from a retail lot or a choose and cut farm.

Should you decide a retail lot there are some things you should know before you get in the car and drive down to the lot.

Safety First: Never go to a retail lot that is not well-lit and always be sure that the lot stores their trees in a shaded area.

Never be afraid to ask questions! What you want to know is how often does the tree lot receive a shipment of Christmas trees. If you purchase a tree recently cut chances are it is a very fresh Christmas tree. You would also, want to know what type of Christmas tree species work best in your climate. Different climates will affect how the tree handles and how long it will last.

Always do a branch/needle test for freshness! This is very important to do when shopping for just the right Christmas tree. If you run a branch through your enclosed hand, needles should not come off easily. Even try bending the outer branches as they should be pliable. If the needles come off easily or the branches are brittle and snap easily then, that tree is too dry to purchase.

Checking for dryness and deterioration

I cannot stress the importance of this step when choosing the right live Christmas tree. Indicators of dryness or deterioration could be excessive needle lose, discolored foliage, wrinkled bark, and even a musty odor.

A great rule of thumb is when you are doubtful about the freshness choose a different tree. If the lot does not meet the standards try a different lot. It may take searching to find that perfect live Christmas tree, but you and your family will have a gorgeous tree in the end.

Now, if your family has chosen to go to a Choose and Cut Farm there are many other preparations you will need to take to ensure safety, a great tree, and bringing it home.

Farm Hazards: Farmers do their best to have your safety in mind, but on a farm anything is possible including accidents. Take precautions just to be on the safe side of things.

Clothing: Wear comfortable shoes and preferably old clothes and always bring rain gear if the weather could turn. Before you set out for the day choose who will be cutting down and loading up the tree, those family members will want to have gloves as well.

What you need to bring: Some Choose and Cut Farms require you to bring our own saws, but often supply them. Always call ahead and see what additional supplies are needed.

Know how the farm prices the tree. Farms price trees differently. Some may price their trees on a individual basis while others charge by the foot. Know exactly what is expected before you load the family up in the car.

Measure your spaces! Not only do you need to know the size of where you will be storing the tree, but also how much space you have to haul the tree.

Cutting down the perfect live Christmas Tree. Always have either a family member or a person at the farm who is equipped and experienced cut the tree down. One person will need to cut, while another person holds the branches out of the way.

Transporting the family tree home. After cutting down the tree, make your way to the processing area where they will clean and net the tree. Netting will make the tree so much easier for transporting it home.

Any time you are in doubt of what type of tree to buy or where to go ask a professional. Never buy a tree on a whim always take time and consideration for the freshness. Remember, you never want a tree that a dry as that could become a fire hazard in your home. Make Christmas Tree shopping fun for the entire family. Maybe pack a picnic lunch or stop off and grab some hot chocolate on the way home. Happy Holidays!

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