August 14, 2018

Christmas Tree Purchase & Care Guide

It may be a little out of season but here is a quick guide to help you with that all important Christmas purchase.

Christmas is always a joyous time shared with family and friends. It is a time of love and festivities. Thus, choosing an appropriate Christmas tree has become something of a family pilgrimage for some people.

The problem is that very few of us know how to select the right tree. Another problem encountered by adventurous souls new to real Christmas trees is the care needed to keep them looking good after purchase or the type of care that can actually enhance the beauty of the tree.

Christmas Tree Selection

If you are looking for a Christmas tree to buy, there are multiple varieties of trees from which you can choose. 

The most popular Christmas trees in the United States tend to be the traditional Scotch pine, the Douglas fir, white pine, and balsam fir as they are present a typical Christmas tree with a pine needle look.

However, before you make a selection, you must know where the tree will be placed in your home.  This is an important point missed by more people than you may imagine. Be sure to measure the space where your tree will sit so you can make a more informed choice of tree based upon foliage, width and the height of the tree to choose. 

Other factors to consider before you make a final selection include:

  • The tree’s overall health. Does the tree of your choice appear moist and green?  Look for signs of aging such as a loss of pine needles or a browning effect occurring. No one would like buying a tree that was cut too early.

  • Use the sniff test. Smell the tree to make sure it still has a fresh fragrant aroma.  A freshly cut Christmas tree have a scent that will tell you that it is freshly cut – a bit like freshly cut grass.

  • A tree should stay reasonably fresh for several weeks after it has been cut as long as it gets plenty of water and is not overly exposed to heat or dry air.

    Tip 1: If you run a gloved hand down the tree branches lightly pulling them towards you and the needles start to fall off it indicates that the tree has not been freshly cut.


    Tip 2: Ensure that the tree is lifted a few inches from the ground, turned it upside down and observe if there is excessive needle drop. Again, needles should not fall off the tree if it has been freshly cut.


    Caring For the Christmas Tree

    Some people buy a tree in the hopes that they can replant it and re-use it again the next year (or at least continue to enjoy it in their garden). Although it is possible to replant a Christmas tree in most cases the tree will not survive.

    If you want to keep your Christmas tree potted, to keep it fresh and for possible replanting then a Norfolk Island pine should be purchased and potted immediately in the appropriate soil.

    Once your tree has been purchased it should be put in a cool place, such as a garage, and prepared for indoor use. Make a few cuts at the bottom of the trunk so the tree can absorb water and emerge the stem in a pot of fresh water.

    Watering your tree is vital to keep it looking good during the Christmas period. You must always keep the pot topped up with a supply of fresh water. A newly cut tree can absorb as much as 1 gallon of water over a 24 hour period!

    You may wish to mix a small amount of plant food solution in with the water to help keep the tree looking healthy.

    If possible keep your tree in a coll place in your house, such as a hallway or entrance near your front door. At the very least keep it away from radiators, heat ducts or other sources of heat and arid air.


    Tree Disposal

    After Christmas most people simply leave their old trees for the garbage collectors or toss them onto a compost site to decompose naturally. However, there are more creative uses for it.

    Here are some great ideas for making good use of your Christmas after Christmas has past:

    • Strip the branches of their remaining pine needles and place into small bowls to act as potpourri.

    • If you are feeling a little more creative why not stuff the pine needles into small pillow cases or similar for decorative nice-smelling ornaments.

    • Place similar fragranced fabrics into draws or closets to keep them smelling fresh.

    • yule log fire from christmas treeLikewise, you can actually use the entire tree as a natural air freshener.
      Simply cut up the tree trunk into small pieces and burn it like yule logs. This will scent the house with the smell of fresh pine.

    • Use the old tree as a staging area to hang your bird feed.

    We hope this simply guide has been helpful and that you enjoy your Christmas and that it helps you chose the right tree for you but perhaps you should consider growing your own.



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