In 2014, almost twice as many folks bought fresh holiday trees than purchased artificial ones, says the National Christmas Tree Association. Granted, once you’ve committed to an artificial one, you may never have to acquire a new one again, something those statistics don’t mention.


Family Hauling Christmas Tree


Still the look, feel and scent of a freshly cut evergreen as the centerpiece of your Christmas décor helps many of us get into and keep the holiday spirit. Bringing the outside in gives you a month-long brush with nature that benefits your health in many ways. We’ve compiled some tips for selecting the best tree and how to keep it fresh and beautiful throughout the season.

Deciding What You Want and Where to Go


Family Picking Tree


1. Common varieties that make ideal Christmas trees include fir, spruce and pine. You’ll pay more for pine and a little less for fir and spruce.

2. Choose a living tree. This is the most costly option, but you can add it to your gardenscape when you say “good-bye” to the holidays.

3. You can cut your own in a designated place, go to a tree farm or frequent a lot with already-cut trees. If you go to a lot, ask them which trees are the newest. You don’t want one that’s been there for a week or more. Fresh is best.

What to Look For at a Lot


Christmas Tree Lot


1. If you notice a high amount of needles on the ground, try another place.

2. Test the trees for freshness by pulling your hand along a branch. Needles shouldn’t fall off.

3. Be sure you have the right stand for the size tree you select and that it fits in or on your vehicle.

Making the Tree Last


Christmas Tree Needles


1. When you get the tree home, saw off an inch or two on the bottom to keep it fresh. If you have the staff at the lot trim off the bottom, the tree will seal up before you get to your house.

2. Put your Christmas tree in water as soon as possible. Check the water level everyday thereafter. It should never fall below the base of the tree.

3. Place the tree away from any heat source and don’t locate it in the path of direct sunlight either.

4. Feed the tree if you like. Some people use aspirin, sugar or a Christmas tree preservative. Experts say the jury is still out on whether any of these work.

5. Recycle the tree after the holidays. Don’t let it languish in your yard.


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