Up next in Christmas Trees & Decorations (38 videos)
Get all your questions about Christmas trees and Christmas decorations answered, and pick up a few new tricks, in this Howcast video series.
You Will Need
- A tape measure
- A freshness test
Measure your space
Measure the space where you’ll put your tree. Take into account the height added by a tree stand and a top ornament.
Find a good seller
If you don’t have the luxury of going to a farm and cutting down a fresh tree, choose a seller who gets ongoing shipments during the holiday season, and who stores the trees in a shaded area. If the seller keeps the trees in water, even better.
Decide on a type
Consider which type of tree works best for you. White firs, Fraser firs, and Scotch pines all have long-lasting needles, and Scotch pines can handle heavy ornaments. Leyland cypresses are pollen-free, so they’re great for people with allergies.
Test for freshness
Lift the tree and then set it down roughly; if the needles easily fall off, the tree is already drying out. Other bad signs are wrinkled bark, discolored needles, and a musty odor. And check the cut end of the trunk; a fresh tree will feel sticky thanks to sap.
Check out the branches
If the tree is tied up, ask to see how they unfold so you can check for bare spots.
Keep it hydrated
As soon as you get home, saw at least a half an inch off the trunk so the tree can absorb water more easily. If you’re not decorating the tree right away, leave it outside in a shaded area, standing in a bucket of water.