Tips & Tricks
10 Tips for Buying a Real Christmas Tree

10 Tips for Buying a Real Christmas Tree

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Tips for Buying a Real Christmas Tree? Christmas is right around the corner and you’re probably starting to think about how you’re going to decorate your home for the holiday. One of the most popular ways people decorate their homes for Christmas is with a real Christmas tree – but if you’ve never done this before, it can be hard to know what tips are best when purchasing one.

10 Tips for Buying a Real Christmas Tree

In this blog post, we’ll go over 10 tips that will help make sure you get a great tree at an unbeatable price!

It’s time to buy a Christmas tree. Many times we’re not entirely satisfied with the trees we get, but a little bit of work when selecting and putting up the tree can go a long way toward solving some of our problems.

10 Tips for Buying a Real Christmas Tree

A fresh tree will, under normal conditions, be able to keep its needles for at least three weeks inside a home. After three weeks the needles will begin to drop. Many of the trees that are available for purchase were cut weeks and sometimes even a month before they hit the tree lot.

Balsam, Douglas, and Fraser fir trees are known for their needle retention. Spruce is the most likely to drop needles. Scotch pine is a good performer.

Tip #1 – When to shop

It’s time to get a tree when you start smelling pine needles in the air. The closer it gets, the more obvious this will be! If you don’t want to go out and buy one, check with your local Christmas tree farm or nursery as they may have trees available for purchase already cut from their fields.

Tip #2 – Plan ahead

You want to select your tree before going into the lot. That way you can walk through and choose from a variety of trees that are ready for purchase, which makes it much easier than picking one out while trying to balance on top of an unsteady ladder with other customers in line behind you!

Tips for Buying a Real Christmas Tree

Tip #3- What shape is it in?

When you’re looking at the tree, look for one with an average to full-shaped crown. A good way to tell is if a branch tips over when you give it a slight push – that’s how straight and strong your tree will be in your home!

Tip #4 – Mind the gap

Make sure there are no large gaps between branches. This allows your tree to hold more ornaments and helps it look fuller.

Tip #5 – Keep the tip

When you’re looking at the tips of your tree, make sure they are green (not dry) without any brown tips. If one branch is fading into a yellow color instead of having that fresh green appearance, this could be an indication of poor water quality, which will lead to brown tips on your tree.

christmas tree

Tip #6 – Get to the Heart of it

Check the base of the trunk for a clearly visible “heart” or center without any holes in it. If you can’t see this, ask an employee if they have another one available with that feature as it’s important!

Tip #7 – Does it dribble?

When you’re checking that the tree is fresh, lift it up and see how much water drains from the bottom. If there’s an excessive amount of liquid coming out – not just a few drops – this could be because the tips are dry or too tightly packed together.

Tip #8- Shake it up

Next, give your tree a good shake to make sure all its branches are in place and don’t feel loose.

Tips for Buying a Real Christmas Tree

Tip #9 – Bend it

How can you tell if a tree is fresh or not before you buy it? A rule of thumb that works well with a wide range of Christmas tree species is to do the following: Take a group of needles between your thumb and forefinger and bend them.

They should be flexible, but not rubbery. If they feel hard or brittle, chances are the tree is no longer fresh.

Tip #10 – Needle it

Now take a single needle and bend it at a sharp angle to snap it in half. If the needle pops or snaps in half (there may be some fibers that hang on) the tree is a fairly fresh one.

A tree that was cut more than a week or two before purchase will have needles that are rubbery. The cell walls in the leaf have begun to dry out; therefore they bend (having less moisture in the cell) and the cell walls don’t rupture like the fresh needle.

Once you bring that tree home:

Use these tips to keep that tree lasting longer once you get it home:


Cut it

To keep a tree fresh longer, cut a small slice off the bottom of the trunk before placing the tree in warm water. The warm water will keep the sap from hardening and allow the wood to take up water better.

Drill it

Another trick is to drill a 1/2-inch hole up into the trunk about 3 or 4 inches deep. Pack this hole with cotton. The cotton will act as a wick to help the tree drink in water.

Fireproof it

Although it’s not possible to make wood completely fireproof, it is possible to give wood and other organic materials the ability to withstand most fires. Here is a simple formula to make your Christmas tree virtually fireproof: Pour 1/2 gallon of water in a bucket and add 1/2 cup of ammonium sulfate, 1/4 cup of boric acid, and 1 heaping tablespoon of borax.

Mix thoroughly. Use an inexpensive spray bottle to apply the solution to your Christmas tree and let it dry before you begin to decorate it. The remainder of the concoction can be poured into the tree stand.

christmas tree

Recycle it

Keep in mind this holiday season that there will be Christmas tree recycling collections. Christmas trees have been used to provide habitat for fish and to help stabilize wetland areas. Watch for these collection sites to be announced on the local news.

If you follow our tips, you’ll be able to purchase the best Christmas tree for your home and it will last longer than anyone else!

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