Picking the Perfect Christmas Tree

Charlie Brown didn’t heed Lucy’s request for a “great big, shiny aluminum Christmas tree” because he knew deep down only a real one could capture the holiday spirit. This holiday, be like Charlie Brown and enjoy your own live Christmas tree with these tips:

  • Because tree varieties are different, you need to match the Christmas tree to what works for your household. For example, a household with children might need pines or firs with soft needles instead of the sharp-needled spruce tree.
  • Check the tree’s freshness. Bend a needle with your fingers; fresh firs should snap, while healthy pines should bend but not break. Other signs a tree isn’t fresh are excessive loss of needles, a musty odor or wrinkled bark. Also, don’t forget to give it the old shake and see how many needles fall.
  • Make sure you measure the space where the tree will go, including the room’s width and height, the National Christmas Tree Association Most trees from farms are trimmed to an 80% taper, so a tree that’s 10 feet tall will be 8 feet wide at the bottom. When you are measuring height, don’t forget to take into account the tree stand and your topper.

Once you get that tree home, here’s how to keep it picture perfect:

  • Freshen the trunk by cutting off about a half-inch from the bottom, which many tree lots will do for you. The fresh cut will absorb more water, so your tree holds its needles and keeps its color longer.
  • Keep water in your tree stand filled and the tree itself away from heat sources, such as fireplaces and heater vents, so it doesn’t dry out.

Don’t settle for a fake tree this year – with a little planning and maintenance, you’ll have a tree that lasts all season long!