When it comes time to invest in a Christmas tree, there are decisions to be made. What kind of tree should you get? Where should you shop? And when? Most people choose a tree by the way it looks but there may be other facts to consider, like space. How much room do you have for a tree? The three most popular Christmas trees in America are Fir trees. If space is limited in your home, consider that this tree has a narrower profile when it first comes into the house. As days go buy the branches open up more or sag slightly making the tree wider in dimension. Blue Spruce is a good choice when space is an issue. It is more symmetrical in shape than other trees. An advantage of the Spruce is it doesn't sprawl. It will fit in a minimal space. It also retains most of its needles causing very little clean up. Unlike some Fir trees, the branches can hold heavy ornaments without sagging.
For the largest and freshest selection, shop for your tree at a Christmas tree farm. You can select it as early as mid November and it will be reserved for you. The tree farm will not cut down the tree until the day you request it to be delivered. This insures a fresh tree, one that will have a longer life in your home. Delivery usually includes setting up the tree in your stand. If you're lucky enough to encounter a conscientious delivery person, he will adjust the tree until you're satisfied that it's perfectly straight.
Christmas tree lots offer convenience. When December rolls around there's one on nearly every corner. You may even see trees outside your local grocery store at very reasonable prices. But low cost and convenience aren't always the best way to choose a tree. When you buy from a lot, you don't know how long ago the tree was cut or if it will survive once you get it home. There are signs to watch for while shopping to improve your chances of getting a tree with some longevity.
1) Give the tree a shake. If a great number of green (not brown) needles hit the ground, don't spend money on this tree.
2) Branches should be somewhat flexible, not brittle.
3) The tree color should be a rich green. If needles are turning brown, find another tree.
4) The tree should be fragrant.
If you shop at a Christmas tree farm, occasionally you may find a small selection of trees that have already been cut down. In that case you may want to keep the above four tips in mind.
Three Ways To Prolong Tree Life
1) If you bought your tree from a lot, you should shave about 1/2" off the bottom. If the tree has been sitting on the lot, the bottom will seal itself and water will not penetrate the base in an optimum way. This seal can happen within hours of being cut or days. Creating a fresh cut will allow the tree to draw water and keep it from drying out. If you buy your tree from a farm, they will automatically cut it for you. But if the tree was stored for some time before actual delivery, it's possible it could seal. Check your tree when it arrives just to be sure they didn't forget. A freshly cut bottom will be light in color and porous.
2) Check the water in the tree stand often, especially in the first two days. Most trees will soak in more water in the first two days than the days that follow. Be sure the water line is higher than the base of the tree. Use plain tap water with nothing else added.
3) Fireplaces and heaters tend to cause trees to dry out more quickly so pay special attention to where the tree is placed in your home.
Besides local tree farms and lots, Christmas trees, as well as wreaths and greens can also be purchased online. This is convenient for people who are homebound or live in remote areas. Take advantage of their discounts for early orders. Online shops deliver to your front door via UPS or FEDEX. Read a review of six online Christmas Tree Farms.