To some, Christmas just isn’t Christmas without a “real” Christmas tree. The following are a few hints to help you select that perfect tree at a Connecticut Christmas tree farm.
- Decide on where you will place the tree. Will it be seen from all sides or will some of it be up against a wall? Be sure to choose a spot away from heat sources, such as TVs, fireplaces, radiators and air ducts. Place the tree clear of doors.
- Measure the height and width of the space you have available in the room where the tree will be placed. There is nothing worse than bringing a tree indoors only to find it’s too tall. Take a tape measure with you to measure your chosen tree and bring a cord to tie your tree to the car.
- Remember that trees sold on retail lots in urban areas may have come from out of state and may have been exposed to drying winds in transit. They may have been cut weeks earlier. Buy trees early before the best trees have been sold and where trees are shaded. Ask the retailer whether his trees are delivered once at the beginning of the season or are they delivered at different times during the selling season.
- Choose a fresh tree. A fresh tree will have a healthy green appearance with few browning needles. Needles should be flexible and not fall off if you run a branch through your hand. Raise the tree a few inches off the ground and drop it on the butt end. Very few green needles should drop off the tree. It is normal for a few inner brown needles to drop off.
- Remember to choose a tree that fits where it is to be displayed. For example if the tree is displayed in front of a large window, then all four sides should look as good as possible. If the tree is displayed against a wall, then a tree with three good sides would be okay. A tree with two good sides would work well in a corner. The more perfect a tree, the more expensive it is.
- Make sure the handle or base of the tree is straight and 6-8 inches long so it will fit easily into the stand.
Do a little research on different Christmas tree types. Some Christmas tree varieties will hold needles longer than others.
The following are a few tips on how to keep your “Real” tree fresh throughout the holiday season.
- If you are not putting the tree up right away store it in an unheated garage or some other area out of the wind and cold (freezing) temperatures. Make a fresh one inch cut on the butt end and place the tree in a bucket of warm water.
- When you decide to bring the tree indoors, make another fresh one inch cut and place the tree in a sturdy stand that holds at least one gallon of water, or a rule of thumb is one quart of water for every inch of diameter of the trunk.
- Be sure to keep the water level about the base of the tree. If the base dries out resin will form over the cut end and the tree will not be able to absorb water and will dry out quickly. Commercially prepared mixes; aspirin; sugar and other additives added to the water are not necessary. Research has shown that plain water will keep a tree fresh.
- Check all Christmas tree lights for worn electrical cords. Use UL approved electrical decorations and cords. Unplug tree lights at night.
- Miniature lights produce less heat and reduce the drying effect on the tree.
- It’s a nuisance to water a Christmas tree once it’s decorated with a tree skirt and surrounded by presents. Here’s an easy solution, supplied by Gene and Marian Anderson of Guse Hardware in Minneapolis: Buy a funnel and a 3 to 4 foot length of vinyl tubing to slip over the funnel outlet. Fasten the funnel/tube with a twist-tie or twine in an out-of-the-way but reachable part of the tree. Extend the tubing down the tree trunk and into the tree stand reservoir. Now you can water the tree through the funnel without bending over or disturbing the tree skirt or its ornaments. (Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune)
- Take down the tree before it dries out. Many fresh cut trees if properly cared for will last at least five weeks before drying out.
- Recycle your tree after Christmas. Many communities will pick up trees and turn them into chips. You might put the tree in your back yard and place bread and suet among the branches for the birds.