The holiday season is a time of celebration with family and friends. A happy time filled with traditions of gift-giving, holiday lights, Christmas trees and hot cocoa by the fireplace. Choosing a Christmas tree and decorating it is one of the most popular merrymaking activities of the season!
‘Tis the Season
Picking a live tree can be complicated. Remember Charlie Brown’s scraggly tree? So, how do you know how to choose a live tree?
- Before you head out to the Christmas tree farm, consider these tips from arborist, Mark Chisholm. First decide where in your house you’ll put the tree. You should avoid places like radiators, fireplaces, heating vents and even televisions.
- Next measure the space keeping in mind that the tree stands and topping will add to the height. If you are using a topping, leave about 12 inches from the ceiling so a 7 to 8 ft. tree should fit in a standard room.
- There are many different varieties of trees so it’s best to choose one that fits your family. If you have children, for example, a pine or fir might be a good choice because it has softer needles, unlike a spruce. Another consideration is your color preference. Some trees are darker green while others have a white or gray hue. If the branches are tightly patterned it might be difficult to decorate. Consider bringing a couple of ornaments with you to the farm to see just how well they will fit.
- Take a step back from the tree and view it from 6-8 ft. back. It should have a good shape and the trunk should stand somewhat straight. The foliage should be dense enough that you don’t see the trunk.
- The tree’s freshness is key when choosing your tree. A fresh tree has a stickiness to the trunk and the needles should bend not break. A way to test its freshness is to grab the inside of a branch and pull it toward you. If a lot of needles fall off the tree, it’s probably not going to last the whole season.
- Once you get the tree home, it will need to be watered. First, cut off about a half inch from the bottom of the trunk and immediately place it in water. This will keep the tree from drying out. As well, the tree stand should always be kept full. A stand that holds at least a gallon of water is ideal.
Following these simple tips will help make your season bright and your tree remain as beautiful as the day you got it.
Cutting Down the Christmas Tree
Tree farms are a great place to find your tree, but some families prefer to cut their own.
Here are some tips for keeping this fun holiday tradition, after all- ‘tis the season for joy!
- The best time to cut a tree is late November to early December. Cutting it any earlier could cause it to dry out.
- Besides measuring the space your Christmas tree will occupy in your home, you’ll need to measure the tree you’d like to cut to know if it will fit in the designated spot. Additionally, you need to know the size to transport it home. Bring tools like a tape measure, a light weight saw and a rope for transporting.
- Wear boots and work gloves to protect your hands and feet.
- Cut the tree as low to the ground as possible. Once the tree starts to fall over, finish cutting quickly, but don’t push it over as it may splinter.
- Once the tree is down, shake it vigorously to get rid of any bugs or critters that have made it their home (sorry Alvin).
- Use caution when transporting your newly cut holiday tree. Try not to bend or break any branches, especially at the top.
- If you just can’t cut the tree yourself, call a professional to help you out. A tree care service such as Blessing Tree Service is able to take care of this and all other tree services for your home.
Classic traditions like trimming the tree are the moments your friends and family will remember now and years to come.
‘Tis the season for enjoyment!