Tips for Picking the Perfect Christmas Tree

Image via Mark Michaelis

I love having a live Christmas tree and I’m so excited that this year is the first in many that I will be getting one!  I plan on picking mine up the day after Thanksgiving and I’ll be sharing it with you here Monday.Wish me luck on finding the perfect tree…if you’re also looking to find your perfect live tree this year, here a few tips:

  • Arrive with a plan for your tree-the ideal height is one foot less than your ceiling height to allow room for a topper.
  • Decide how full you would like your tree-is it going in a crowded room? Then choose a slender version.  An empty sitting room could handle a more full tree.
  • Check the trees for freshness-give the branches a shake or run your fingers along them.  There should be little to no needle loss or signs of bugs.  If needles are falling, move on in search of a fresher tree.
  • If your tree is fresh cut and you can get it home within an hour go ahead and put it in a stand.  If not, recut the trunk at an angle at home (some vendors will do this for you when you purchase) and soak outside in a bucket of water overnight. You must water the tree within an hour of cutting or the trunk will seal itself and not soak up water.
  • Ensure that your tree stand can hold adequate water-1 quart per foot of tree is ideal.  Keep your tree watered to help it last through the holiday season.  Add water daily.
  • And last but most definitely not least, once your tree is ready to decorate please take appropriate safety measures-keep trees away from heat sources such as fireplaces, radiators, and heat vents that can dry your tree out and increase flammability.  Inspect all lights before decorating and use only UL approved lighting.

That’s all! Enjoy picking out your tree! I’d love to see your tree after you pick it out-you can leave a link in the comments! Don’t forget to enter the 2K Stuff the Stockings giveaway and come back tomorrow for tips to decorate your tree!

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    • Melissa says

      Thanks so much Linda, I’m so excited to go tree-hunting on Friday. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family!! Take care!

  1. says

    Yay! Now I’m in the mood for the tree farm! We’ve been getting fresh trees since Kennedy was born and it’s probably the tradition we most look forward to this time of year. We always try to get a balsam fir (or two!) because we really like the way they look and their needles hardly fall off at all, even after 6 weeks up. Do you have a specific kind of tree you like to get?

    • Melissa says

      Honestly Courtenay I haven’t had a “real” tree in years, and when I got them when I was younger I never even realized there was more than one type! I really am hoping to find a fir this year, preferably a noble fir. I’ll have to see what’s available when I got out looking on Friday.

  2. says

    I’ve never gotten a real tree…..I would love one…..I just have too many fake trees to buy one. I heard they had some really good small ones at Whole Foods. Thinking about getting one for the front porch of Hansel and Gretel….we will see!

  3. says

    Most people check for a tree’s freshness by bouncing or shaking the tree in the lot, looking to see how many needles fall to the ground. However, not a bad method, it is generally more effective to grip a branch and run it through your hand, checking to see how many needles come off.


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