Choosing A Christmas Tree
If you decide to use a live tree this year, it is important to do a little preparation before you head out to search for your perfect tree.
- First, measure your ceiling height. Take measurements to be sure you know how tall of a tree you will need. Leave room for your tree topper and for tilting the tree to an upright position when installing. Also, allow for your tree stand and tree trunk. Even the most beautifully shaped tree could look like a mess after cutting half of the tree branches off to stand it in place. Check your measurements and be sure to purchase a tree that is shorter than your ceiling height!
- Check your doorways, hallways, and stairways. Be sure you have a clear path to your final destination. Be sure the length of your tree will make all the turns that it needs to make in order to enter your room.
- Of course, you also want to be sure you have a vehicle that can transport your tree back to your home, with plenty of cords or rope for securing your tree to your car. Always aim the bottom of the tree toward the front of the car, so the wind doesn’t break branches during transport.
- When I decide to use a live tree, I purchase my tree from a local tree farm here in Massachusetts, where choosing the perfect tree involves a long hike, down a path, into the woods, through the snow, down past a stream, and up a hill in the freezing cold. Once you reach the peak of this hill, you can see a valley of beautifully tended live trees, all sparkling in the sunshine, and all hoping to be chosen as my Christmas tree. This makes the journey worthwhile. Once you are deep in the woods, it can become very hard to judge the height of these beautiful trees, luckily, my favorite tree farmer comes equipped with a tree measuring stick, a saw, and a pickup truck to haul my perfect tree back to civilization. If you are fortunate enough to visit a tree farm, ask your tree farmer about the different varieties of trees and about what to expect regarding longevity, fragrance, and durability of the needles and branches as this varies with each variety of tree.
- Your local Christmas tree lot can also be a great place to purchase a live tree. This involves less hiking and less time, and you could also help to support a local cause with your purchase. When choosing a fresh-cut tree, be sure the needles are not brittle. You don’t want to purchase a dried-out tree that will lose its needles quickly.
- Once you get your Christmas tree back to your home, be sure that your tree trunk has a fresh cut before installing it. A fresh cut allows the tree to continue absorbing water. After installing, fill your tree stand with water immediately, and continue daily watering. Also, remember the taller the tree, the larger and stronger the tree stand needed to hold it up safely.
- If you are thinking about an artificial Christmas tree? As much as I love the fragrance and the all-day pilgrimage of selecting and installing a live tree, artificial trees offer a lot of benefits. No constant dropping of needles, no daily watering, and much sturdier branches that can hold up decorations that most live trees cannot support. For those of us that put up decorations professionally, an artificial tree allows much more longevity. You can also find artificial trees in every shape and size, and variety that you could get in a live tree. A quality artificial tree will look very authentic and will last many years if properly stored. There are many varieties of trees to choose from, including flocked and pre-lit and many tree companies offer different varieties of trees, from Frasier firs to White spruce. Remember, decorations go a long way. We can transform even an inexpensive artificial tree with decorations.
Until next time,
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