Christmas Tree Shopping Tips, Fresh Style

Christmas Tree Shopping Tips, Fresh Style

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Millions of Americans buy real Christmas trees each year, enjoying the smell and look of fir throughout the holiday season. Christmas trees come in a variety of sizes and shapes, and can cost as little as $20 to well over $100. Before you head out to buy a Christmas tree this year, you may want to give some thought to the following points.

When Was it Cut?

If you are buying a fresh Christmas tree that was already cut, it may have been felled at the beginning of Nov. Think about it: the tree has been separated from its roots for a few weeks and must make it until Christmas.

Ask the retailer about its cut down date. If not known, assume that it was weeks ago and likely to dry out before Christmas. Run your hand across a branch and if a lot of needles come off, it won’t make it through the holidays. Consider cutting down your own tree to ensure that it stays fresh longer.

What Type of Tree is it?

There are fir trees and then there are fir trees. You have Douglas fir, Fraser fir, Canadian balsam and Noble fir to name the most popular varieties. Consider that the Fraser fir may be the most dense, offer the best scent and may last the longest.

Noble fir is lusher, but you will pay a premium for this type of tree. One Christmas tree retailer prices “you cut” Noble firs from $9 per foot. For a 10-foot tree you will spend $90. That price can nearly double if you have someone cut it for you instead.

How to Keep it Fresh

Keeping a Christmas tree fresh is the goal of every consumer. Even if you cut down a tree in early Dec., there is no guarantee that it will make it through the month, much less until Christmas.

If your apartment or home is too hot, it can quickly dry out the tree. The best thing to do when you buy a Christmas tree is to have the base cut before you bring it home. Then, you will want to soak the trunk in hot water for three days, adding two or three tablespoons of sugar.

Carry the tree through the front door trunk first to avoid bending and breaking branches. Set it up in a tree stand and immediately add water. You may need to replenish the water once or twice daily to keep the tree from drying out.

Christmas Tree Considerations

Hot, dry air will dry out your Christmas tree quickly. Keep the room temperature down, preferably at 68 degrees. If you have a radiator in the same room as the tree, you can place a pot of water on top. The water will evaporate and moisten the air.

What is a fair price for a tree? At the market, you can expect to pay $7 to $12 per foot depending on the tree. For a 6-foot tree, your price should come in at about $50.

See AlsoHow to Save Big Money on Christmas Shopping

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