How To Buy A Real Christmas Tree
Buying a real Christmas tree can be a wonderful holiday tradition, but it can also be a challenge to make that first purchase if you've never had a real tree before. These tips can help you be sure your first real Christmas tree is a beautiful and memorable start to this seasonal tradition.
how to buy a real christmas tree
When you're a first time buyer shopping for a real Christmas tree, it can be easy to be intimidated by the forest of options that await. With careful consideration and savvy shopping, however, you can turn the chore of buying a real tree into a fun holiday tradition you will celebrate each year.
For a more adventurous tree-cutting experience, the U.S. Forest Service issues very affordable permits ($5 in past years) that allow personal harvest of Christmas trees in select areas of national forests. Go here for more information.
If possible, keep the tree away from heat sources like fireplaces, heaters, vents, and direct sunlight when you bring it indoors. The lower the room temperature, the less water the tree will consume.
Tabletop mini living Christmas trees are more common than full-size ones, and you can plant them in your garden at the end of the season. Like full-size cut trees, place living tabletop trees away from radiators and heat sources. Keep the soil slightly moist.
After Christmas, many cities have curbside pick-up or drop-off locations for Christmas trees. If you have yard-waste pick-up, you may be able to cut your tree small enough to fit in your bin. And non-profit civic organizations like the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts will often pick up trees as a fund-raiser.
The scent of a real Christmas tree in the house, the allure of a family outing to select a real tree and the appeal of buying local are among the reasons people buy real Christmas trees. For some, especially people who grew up in households with an artificial tree, buying and setting up a real tree may seem like daunting task. With a little planning, however, having a real tree can add a fun and enjoyable family experience to the holidays. For those that have never had a real Christmas tree in their homes for the holidays, Michigan State University Extension provides these tips to simplify the process.
Before buying your tree, decide where in your home you are going to display the tree. Keep the tree away from direct heat sources such as fireplaces or furnace vents because these may cause the tree to use more water and dry faster. Having an electrical outlet near the tree will eliminate the need to run unsightly extension cords to the tree. Double-check there is adequate floor space for the height of tree you want to display. The taper (ratio of tree width to height) of real trees varies, but is usually around two to three. This means you need a space 4-feet wide for a 6-foot tall tree.
Consumers can buy trees already cut at a tree lot or they can cut their own at a choose-and-cut farm. Common options for buying pre-cut trees include big box stores and supermarkets, garden centers and freestanding tree lots. Pre-cut trees at box stores or supermarkets offer the convenience of buying trees while doing other shopping. Buying at garden centers or stand-alone tree lots supports local businesses or, in some cases, charitable groups such as scout troops or churches.
Pre-cut trees are usually grown on large farms that specialize in wholesale production, are harvested and then shipped to retail outlets. Choose-and-cut farms are usually smaller tree farms where consumers can wander fields, find their tree and cut the tree with saws provided by the farm. Many choose-and-cut farms also provide family-themed agritainment, such as hay wagon rides, petting zoos, bonfires, gift shops and hot chocolate or cider stands.
For pre-cut trees, do the pull test. Gently pull on the end of the branch with your thumb and forefinger. Fresh trees should hold onto all their needles. If a tree loses needles when you do the pull test, keep looking.
For many people, the most stress-inducing step of having a real Christmas tree is putting the tree in a stand and getting it to stand straight. A simple way around this issue is using a drill stand. Many tree lots, choose-and cut-farms and retail lots will drill trees with specially-designed drills that match the pin in the stand, ensuring trees stand upright and straight.
For traditional, screw-in stands, recognize that this is a two-person job. Place the stand on the bottom of the tree before standing the tree up. The best plan of attack is to have one person adjust the tightening screws on the stand while the second person adjusts the tree and checks for straightness.
For all types of tree stands, keep the baling twine on the tree until the tree is in the stand and upright. This keeps the tree compact and easier to handle as you bring it in the house and get it situated in the stand.
Consider these tips in order to reduce the mess of getting a tree out of the house after the holidays. Use a turkey baster or a large sponge to transfer any water remaining in the tree stand to a bucket or plastic container. To reduce the amount of needles lost while taking the tree out, lay a bedsheet on the floor and gently lay the tree down on it. Wrap the sheet around the tree to collect any loose needles they may come off while taking the tree out of the house.
Recycle your tree at the end of the holidays. Some communities have curbside tree pick-up for recycling and many others have central drop-off points. Check your local paper or community websites for recycling options in your area.
Nothing signals the start of the holidays quite like a fresh-cut, real Christmas tree that fills your home with the festive scent of the season. This guide will teach you about different types of real Christmas trees and care tips to help you have the best real Christmas trees for your family.
Live Christmas trees are a renewable resource, with hundreds of thousands of acres dedicated to their growth. Christmas tree farms raise and harvest different varieties of trees, virtually eliminating the harvesting of trees in the wild, which can deplete valuable forests.
Recycling programs located in most communities turn your used tree into useful mulch. Many of our locations offer Christmas tree recycling free of charge. Call your local store to find out if they are participating. In some areas, recycled trees are also being used to create habitats for fish and other aquatic life in local ponds and lakes, as well as helping to slow erosion.
When selecting the best real Christmas trees for your home, look for those with a bright, vibrant coloring. Because fresh-cut trees have a limited life, purchase one that was recently harvested. Most types of Christmas trees that are freshly cut usually last between four and six weeks, so be careful not to purchase too early; sometime around Thanksgiving is ideal.
When choosing the location for your live Christmas tree, select a spot that is cool and free from drafts. Also double-check that the tree is located away from heat sources such as vents, fireplaces or appliances to help the tree retain moisture and remain healthy.
Upon purchase, we will cut the bottom inch or two of your tree's trunk in order to improve water absorption once you arrive home. Put your newly cut tree in water within one hour of cutting the trunk.
Keeping your tree hydrated is the key to maintaining a healthy, vibrant display throughout the holiday season. Trees can consume as much as a gallon or more of water per day, depending on the type and size of the tree. Make sure your stand has enough depth to keep the base of the trunk submerged in water at all times.
When it comes to fire safety, the most important thing to know is that a well-hydrated tree provides natural protection against fire hazards. To keep you and your family safe during the holidays, you should water your tree every day, without exception.
Find the best real Christmas trees for your family and shop our selection of holiday decor online or at your local Home Depot. Each of our freshly cut trees is harvested with care and replaced with a new seedling in the spring. We also have a wide selection of artificial Christmas trees that come in various colors and styles. Real Christmas trees purchased online are also available for free delivery.
Save time with our app or shop online for all the Christmas lights, ornaments and garland you need to trim the tree and deck the halls. The Home Depot delivers online orders when and where you need them.
Between battling the general lack of good cheer and facing down the prospect of spending the holidays at home, people are embracing Christmas decorations. For some, that means putting up a live tree for the first time.
You should also decide whether you want to get a precut tree from a lot or nursery or whether you want to cut one down yourself. Several farms around L.A. offer the cut-your-own-Christmas tree experience. There are lots of precut ones from family farms all around Southern California.
Places like the Home Depot have trees available and offer delivery, but Helfer said big-box retailers tend to offer lower-quality trees. The best quality trees are more likely to come from independent lots that specialize in the business.
In Southern California, expect to pay between $50 and $200, depending on the size and type of tree you buy. The median price of a real Christmas tree purchased in 2019 was $76.87, according to a national survey from the National Christmas Tree Assn.
Also ask when the tree was cut down. The reality is that 30 million trees cannot be cut down simultaneously the weekend before the three-week-long tree-buying season. The bulk of the workforce who chop down and transport Christmas trees are migrant workers who typically begin after grape harvesting season ends in the fall, Harman said, so the very first trees available might have been cut a few weeks earlier. You either want a tree that was cut recently or one that has been stored in the cold for preservation.
In the U.S., around 10 million artificial trees are purchased each season. Nearly 90 percent of them are shipped across the world from China, resulting in an increase of carbon emissions and resources. And because of the material they are made of, most artificial trees are not recyclable and end up in local landfills. Not to mention the smell of new plastic is just not as nostalgic as a crisp, fresh evergreen. 041b061a72