Merry Christmas, friends! Today I’m sharing some of my tips for how to choose a Christmas tree, gathered from years of searching for the perfect tree each December!
It’s the holiday season, and it has been tradition in my family ever since I can remember that we head up north the weekend after Thanksgiving to pick out our trees. I’m so grateful that I’ve been able to carry on this tradition with my own family still. Don’t get me wrong, I love a perfectly manicured artificial tree (or two!) to start decorating come November 1st each year, but there is nothing as beautiful (or as fragrant!) as your very own live Christmas tree! Here are my must-do tips for picking out the perfect one!
shop the look
tip 1: measure! (twice!)
Nothing is worse than getting to the tree farm and looking at your significant other, both of you suddenly wondering how tall of a tree to look for. Tree prices tend to vary by foot or 1/2 foot, and so you don’t want to be buying extra tree “just in case!”. Before you leave your home, measure from floor to ceiling. Then account for the height of any topper you want to place on the tree, and the tree stand and base. For example, we always use a thick piece of plywood under our tree stand so it stays level and we don’t worry too much about leaking onto the carpet. Measure all these things before you leave so you know what to look for!
tip 2: choose your tree type!
There are soooo many types of Christmas trees – it can be a little overwhelming! If this is your first time, do a little bit of research to read about the different types and get an idea of what you are looking for. We usually lean towards the shorter needled trees, and I particularly like Balsam Fir. We did go with a White Pine though two years ago, and the longer needles were very pretty!
tip 3: bring the right equipment
If you can, bring a chainsaw. The tree farms will only have hand saws available, and a chainsaw will make the task much easier! Also bring a heavy coat if it is cold outside, a tarp or blanket to lay on the ground so you don’t get dirty while cutting down the tree (which then can double as a protective layer for your trunk or the roof of your car when you put the tree up there!), and heavy gloves! If you are really struggling with cutting down the tree or picking the right one then ask one of the professionals at the lot for some assistance. We could hear something inside one of the trees that we were going to pick, and luckily one of the guys had a folding ladder to climb the tree and inspect it. Thankfully we didn’t get that one because there was a whole birds nest and lots of birds all inside it, which is just one example why it’s always a good idea to ask someone else for help!
tip 4: tree inspection time!
This is the most important step (arguably)! A few tips when you are looking at trees:
- Notice the needle colors. Are they starting to yellow or brown? Skip! The fresher, healthier trees will last longest.
- Take a good look at the tree, if you notice something off about it, dead branches, weird sap coming out of it, there is a chance it could be diseased, and if it planted in the ground then there is the chance it could affect others, this is where a tree removal jacksonville fl service or a service similar to it (depending on where you get your tree) may need to called in by the owners to make sure nothing else is affected.
- Find at least three “good sides.” Most locations in your home where you would put a tree will need three sides that are nice and full, and the fourth side is generally against a wall. When you get the tree into your home, then be sure to rotate it so the “bad side” faces the wall, before you start decorating. (Note: if you are putting your tree in a window, you’ll probably want all four sides looking in tip-top shape, though!)
- Look at the trunk! You want it to be fairly straight, so be sure to stand back a bit and peer through all those branches to get an idea of how straight the trunk is from multiple angles.
- Look at the branches! You want fairly even spacing with lots of room for ornaments. If you like a lot of ribbon on your tree, you might want the branches closer together. If you like room for lots of hanging, large, dangly ornaments, you should look for more space between the branches.
bonus tip: cut the end off when you get home!
To make sure you tree starts drinking up water straight away, it is helpful to make a fresh cut of at least 1/2 to 1 inch off the bottom when you get home. Depending on your ceiling height, this may need to be a little more – just be sure to get out the tape measure and measure if you need to!