One of the most time-honored traditions for many families at Christmas is the ritual of choosing just the right Christmas tree. If the choice is a good one, you will hear compliments for weeks about what a lovely tree you have chosen. However, trying to choose the right tree can be bewildering. There are several tricks to buying the perfect Christmas tree for your home.
Some of the work of choosing the right tree begins before you even leave the house. The first step in choosing the perfect tree is to decide where you want to set it up in your home. Avoid a space that is close to a heat source and try to choose a spot that does not have a lot of traffic. Be sure there is a power outlet nearby if you plan to use electric light bulbs.
Once you have chosen the spot, you will need to measure the space that is available. It is important to measure both the height and the width of the space it will be occupying. If you already have a decoration for the top of your tree, you need to allow for the additional height it will require. You should also check your tree stand and measure the diameter of tree trunk that will fit the space. Take a tape measure with you when you go shopping.
When choosing a Christmas tree, it is very important to choose one that is as fresh as possible, and not one that has been allowed to dry out. Commercial trees are often cut three or four weeks before they are brought to the sales lot. Trees that have a reputation for lasting a long time after they are cut include White Pine, Scotch Pine, Colorado Spruce, and Douglas Fir.
A tree that has become dry will start to lose its needles quickly. Soon your floor will be covered with countless, tiny needles that have fallen from the tree. The needles of spruce trees can be particularly painful if you happen to step on them. A dried out Christmas tree will also lack that wonderful, fresh aroma that is such a special part of having a real tree. The branches will start to look lifeless and withered, and can even constitute a fire hazard, as a dry tree can catch fire easily.
Test the needles and branches of the various trees for freshness. Hold a branch with your fingers and gently pull your hand along the stem. Watch to see if many needles fall off. If you shake the branches of the tree, do a lot of needles fall down? This is a sign that the tree is too dry. Bend some of the needles between your fingers. Are they soft and flexible? Or are they dry? Do they give off a fragrant aroma? A tree that still has a lot of life in it will smell fresh when you crush the needles. Gently bend the branches to see if they are flexible.
If the tree branches are not securely tied up, check the trunk to see that it is straight. Are the branches symmetrical? If you purchase a tree that has a crooked trunk or that has uneven branches, it can end up falling over, putting a serious dent in your Christmas spirit.
Hold the tree up vertically and walk around it to see if the branches are equally full all around it. If you are placing the tree in a corner, it will not be as important that the tree is completely symmetrical. With these tips to guide you, you are sure to find a Christmas tree that is perfect for the season.