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Tips on Picking the Perfect Pine (or Tree of Choice)

11/25/2016 11:00AM ● Published by Kendra Kaiserman

O' Christmas Tree

December 2016
By Kendra Kaiserman


Real or artificial, that is the question. Both have advantages and disadvantages, so you really can’t go wrong no matter what choice you make.

If you are searching for a real tree, you have many choices, including fir, pine, spruce, cedar and cypress trees, with abundant varieties within those types. Popular pine tree varieties include Scotch, Virginia and White. There are quite a few fir varieties—Fraser, Balsam, Canaan, Douglas Noble, Grand and White. Colorado Blue, Norway and White spruce make for popular Christmas trees. The two well-known cypress varieties are Arizona and Leyland, and Eastern Red Cedars also make ideal Christmas trees. 

After choosing which variety of tree you want, consider the height and the width of the room in which you would like to place it. Don’t forget to subtract the height of the tree topper and the tree stand to get the exact numbers. Then, contemplate the four S’s—shape, size, scent and strength. Lastly, consider the size of the trunk. If you already have a stand at home, make sure you measure it before you pick out a tree.

 While you can grab pre-cut trees from grocery or retail stores, you may enjoy cutting down your own from a local tree farm. The National Christmas Tree Association has a retail locator tool to help you find a spot. Just enter your location and it will list the names, addresses and contact information of the tree farms located nearby.

Experts say the best way to get your tree home is to transport it inside your car, as placing it on the roof of the car dries it out quickly. If that’s not an option, you can cover the tree in a tarp before placing it on the roof.

Once you’ve chosen your tree and decorated it to your liking, there are some things to remember to make your beloved sapling last longer. Water, water, water. Well, maybe only two waters. You should water your tree twice a day. You can also add nutrients, such as tree food, but as long as your tree has plenty of water, it should be good to go. Choose a location for your tree that isn’t near anything that could dry it out, such as baseboard heaters, fans, vents or direct sunlight. This is not only for preservation’s sake, but for safety as well.

Other tips include getting new LED bulbs for lighting your tree, keeping a good eye on the water level and running a humidifier in the room, which is good for your tree and your health. When you are finished with your evergreen beauty, you can recycle it. Most cities have recycling programs, so check your local paper or the Internet for drop-off locations or pick-up dates and times.

Looking for an alternative to the pine needles? Your options for artificial trees are endless, including most retail superstores and grocery stores. You can also get your tree online from numerous retail stores or Amazon. Some look more natural than others, some come pre-lit – shop around and find the one that suits your fancy.  

Along with your main Christmas tree, you can make smaller trees using everyday items and place them around your house. These are perfect accents to your main tree or even alternatives to the traditional tree. Fun ideas to create your tree may include buttons, cupcake wrappers, seashells, old magazines and more. Have you designed a creative tree that might inspire Enjoy readers? Share them on our Facebook page and we will post them on our website.

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