Since I live in the Pacific Northwest, where we have beautiful evergreen trees dotting the landscape every day, I’ve had the opportunity to buy or obtain a Christmas tree in a variety of ways.
I’ve gone up in the mountains to cut one after securing a permit. I’ve selected many at local Christmas tree farms. At other times, we went to a lot to buy one. Lately, I’ve been growing my own Christmas trees in my yard. Small, volunteer fir and cedar trees pop up here and there, and I let likely candidates grow, especially the cedar trees.
One memorable Christmas tree experience was when we lived in Anchorage, Alaska. I wanted until the last minute because trees were so expensive there. Unfortunately, the selection on Christmas Eve day was limited. I had trouble finding any lots with trees. I had to drive 10 miles out of town to get one. The lot only had a few left. I bought the one I thought was the best looking. It was the worst tree I ever had. The needles started dropping the minute I brought it in the house. Then they dropped in big piles. Needless to say, we didn’t keep our tree into January as my family did when I was growing up.
Here are tips for buying a Christmas tree:
- Do research on the type of tree you want.
- Locate your source.
- Before you head out, buy a tree stand and remember to bring your tape measure and gloves.
- Select the perfect tree by evaluating its freshness, size, and fullness.
- Tie the tree to your car carefully and drive slowly on the way home.
- Set the tree up as soon as possible, be sure to keep it away from heat sources, and put water in the tree stand as soon as you set it up.
- Keep the tree watered, turn lights off when you leave the house or go to bed, and vacuum fallen needles frequently.
- Recycle your tree after the holidays.
For further information on Christmas tree selection, see:
“How to Buy a Fresh Christmas Tree” – About.com
“How to Pick a Green Christmas Tree” – TreeHugger.com
“How to Keep Christmas Trees Healthy Indoors” – 5Min Life Videopedia
Copyright 2008, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist