2020 is finally coming to a close, and with Christmas just a few weeks away, thoughts of buying Christmas trees are in full gear. Whether it's your first time or it has become part of your family tradition, shopping for a Christmas tree can be an exhaustive and stressful event. Do you buy a real cut Christmas tree from Christmas tree farms and local lots, or do you buy an artificial one? Which type of Christmas tree should you opt for? There’s a lot to decide, and in our post today, we make it a bit easier for you by sharing tips on everything you need to know before buying a Christmas tree.
Real or Artificial Christmas Tree?
When it comes to the Christmas tree, you must decide beforehand whether you want a real or artificial one. The thing is, no matter your choice, each has its pros and cons. Take a real Christmas tree, for example. It's fun going to the local lots or Christmas tree farms as a family to pick up a fresh tree. Additionally, nothing’s as refreshing as the smell of fresh pine needles. And one more thing, real Christmas trees are recyclable and biodegradable. On the other hand, artificial Christmas trees can be reused year after year, making them an economical choice. They are also easy to maintain and aren’t as messy as real cut Christmas trees. Artificial trees are made from fire-resistant materials, making them safer to use in the house without fear of fire risks. Finally, they are easily customizable – whether you want them pre-lit, frosted with illusion snow, or deckled with pinecones, you can get it customized to your liking.
Where to Buy Your Christmas Tree
If you prefer artificial trees, online sites like Amazon have some of the best options. Like we mentioned above, you can get your tree customized any way you like. Apart from budget models and easy-to-assemble pop-up designs, which come in a range of colors and styles, you can order space-saving options that fit perfectly to the corner or half tress which sit flush to the wall. But when it comes to real trees, we highly recommend visiting the local grower to choose one that catches your eye. Checking out the tree before buying it allows you to inspect for damages and make the best choice for your home.
When to Buy Your Christmas Tree
Traditionally, trees were not displayed until Christmas Eve. But, times have changed, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see your neighbor put up a Christmas tree by mid-November. There’s no harm in buying your tree early since the expected life of a cut tree is about a month, although some may last up to six weeks. However, keep in mind that not all trees will maintain their pristine condition until the big day. If you wish to buy a Christmas tree early, go for the Nordmann Fir, which is known for its non-drop needles.
Check for Freshness
When buying your tree from a retail lot, be sure to check for freshness. Start by checking if the needles are resilient. To do so, take hold of a branch and pull your hand toward you, letting the needles slip through your fingers. Alternatively, give the tree a good shake or drop it from a few inches above the ground and check if the needles stay intact. The needles of a freshly cut tree should remain on it, rather than fall out.
Get the Right Measurements
It's imperative that you measure the room where you intend to install the tree before going to look for one. Nothing is as heart-breaking as getting home only to realize the tree is longer than your ceiling. Likewise, measure all the areas the tree will pass through before it gets to its designated space. This will save you the frustration of getting stuck along the staircase or front door. Experts recommend allowing around 40 cm between the tree topper and ceiling and roughly 15 cm for the stand. Remember, bigger isn’t always better, especially if you haven’t got enough space. Also, note that after you unbundle the tree and it starts to settle, the branches will cover a wider stance. So, be sure to measure all dimensions (both height and width) and leave room for expansion.
Make Sure Your Tree is Re-Cut
When buying a tree, the vendor should re-cut it upon sale to increase its rate of water absorption, hence lifespan. The National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA) advises that on average, the tree absorbs about a quart a day, and re-cutting boosts the rate at which it absorbs water. Here’s another piece of advice from the experts: Don’t add anything to the water. Contrary to popular opinion, adding soft drinks, sugar, hydration gels or powders, or tree preservatives may do your tree more harm than good.
Do Thorough Research on Tree Species
Another crucial point to consider before buying a Christmas tree is the different species. There are dozens of Christmas tree species, each with its own unique characteristic. For example, Noble Fir has sturdy limbs and boughs that turn upward to prevent sagging. This allows you to hang all sorts of ornaments without risking breaking the tree. Douglas fir is lightweight, and its needles and branches are pretty soft, making it ideal for those who don’t like getting pricked by needles. Balsam fir has a strong smell like a Christmas tree farm and sports the most classic shape and fullness that’s a delight for most people. It's also a great option if you own pets since it sheds far less than other species. As you can see, you need to research the different types of Christmas trees to buy one that perfectly suits your home.
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