How To Pick The Perfect Live Christmas Tree

The Magic of Christmas really comes alive with the Perfect Live Christmas Tree and you don’t have to venture into the wilderness like Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo and the rest of the cast did in the National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation Movie had to, to find that perfect and special tree risking life, limb and frost bite; poor Audrey!

That perfect tree is within reaching distance, be it at a tree farm, tree lot or your local garden center.  There is nothing like waking up each and every morning to the sweet scent of pine, not only does it freshen the house it really adds to the excitement and feel of a traditional Christmas.  We ventured out to our local greenhouse today to find that one special tree and learned some new and interesting fact along the way that we just had to share with our readers. There were so many varieties to search through: Blue Spruce, White Spruce, White Pine, Scots Pine, Fraser Fir and Balsam Fir. We picked up a beautiful 7 foot Balsam Fir which is stunningly beautiful and had that same aura around it when my son stood it up that Clark Griswold had when he spotted that tree standing majestically in the clearing, but we didn’t have to pull it out of the ground with our bare hands.  We can’t wait to decorate it with all our keepsake ornaments that we’ve been collecting for a lifetime.

Tree farms have a spectacular selection of the freshest trees that you pick and cut down yourself, they may provide saws so you can cut down your own tree or you can bring your own.  This could turn into a fun family tradition as some farms offer sleigh or wagon rides, hot chocolate and cookie treats as well as an assortment of natural seasonal decorations to really bring the holiday’s home.  We opted for our local greenhouse which was closer to home. 

Things to consider when picking out the perfect tree:

·       Measure the height of your ceiling accounting for the base and the tree topper as well as the space where you plan on displaying your tree; you don’t want it to blow out your windows and ceiling when you cut the branches loose (can you tell the Christmas vacation is our favourite holiday movie?)

·       Choose a tree that is full that doesn’t require much shaping. I can’t stress out how important it is not to purchase a tree that has been pre-wrapped ready to whisk away in your car, you could be disappointed when you get it home and it’s sparse! Take your time insuring it is full and fresh.

·       Picking out the freshest tree by snapping a branch, usually at the base of the tree.  If a branch does not make a snapping or popping sound it’s not going to last through the holidays. Avoid trees where the branches just bend and have too much flexibility.

·       Give it a good shake, the greenhouse staff will shake them down usually to remove dead or loose needles, excessive shedding may be a sign that the tree is old.

·       This may sound silly but give the potential tree a hug to check for sap.  Cut trees no longer produce sap so after you hug it you feel sticky or are covered in sap you’ve got yourself a winner. 

 Getting your tree home:

 ·       We lucked out; our garden center did all the work for us, they trimmed the tree, removed old branches from the bottom. They cut over 1 inch of the trunk for us and wrapped it in a nylon mess so we could put it in my son’s pickup truck easily.   (The trunk needs to be cut before inserting into the tree base, while sitting idle the trunk will scab over preventing the tree from absorbing water and sooner than later you’ll end up with a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree which will sadly and surely disappoint.

·       Get the fresh cut tree trunk into water within 24 hours or it will scab over again and you’ll be pulling out a saw or chain saw in no time.

Caring for your tree:

 ·       Get it into water as soon as possible and check it daily to insure there is adequate water in the base at all times. 

·       Set your tree away from any heat sources, such as harsh sunlight and warm drafts as this could shorten the trees lifespan.

·       Allow the branches to rest for 24 hours prior to decorating allowing time for the tree to relax and reshape itself naturally.

 Safety first:

·       Turn off the lights on the tree before leaving the house or heading to sleep for the night.

·       Never use lighted candles or combustible decorations.