For many families, the selection of a Christmas tree is a “deep-rooted” Christmas tradition that often marks the beginning of the holiday season. At our house, searching for the perfect tree is quite an event and every year we reminisce over our previous tree hunting adventures! It is a wonderful family tradition!
There are many different species of trees that are commonly used for Christmas trees. My personal favorite is the soft-needled Frazer fir. These trees are long-lasting with great needle retention and add a wonderful fragrance to your home for the holidays! They have strong branches and, as long as they haven’t been over-sheared, are open enough to hang lots of ornaments. The pines, especially White pine and Scotch pine, are also very popular. These are long-lasting but are sometimes hard to decorate because they tend to be very full - especially if they’ve been over-sheared. Spruce trees make lovely Christmas trees, particularly the Blue spruce, if you can get past the very prickly needles! André picks a beautiful Blue spruce for his snow tree which he flocks and decorates with colorful balls and other ornaments.
There are many places you can get trees, from retail lots to choose-and-cut farms. When you go to a farm and cut your own, you know it's fresh and it’s fun to wander through the growing trees to find the most perfect one! If you choose a cut tree from a retail lot, make sure it is fresh. The tree should have a healthy green color and the needles should be flexible and not come off when you stroke a branch. A good way to check for freshness is to lift a cut tree off the ground a few inches and then let it drop on it’s cut end. A few inner needles might fall but green outer needles should not drop off the tree.
Once you get home with your tree, make a fresh cut about an inch above the original cut. Place your tree in the stand and keep the reservoir full of water at all times! It will take up a lot of water so be sure to check it several times a day. Always keep your tree away from heat sources. If you aren’t putting your tree up right away, re-cut the end, put it in a bucket of water, and keep it in a cool, shaded place until you are ready to bring it inside. Try Andre’s special Christmas tree stand formula and his Christmas tree and greens spray to help fireproof your tree and greens and keep them fresh.
Bonide Wilt Stop can also be used to keep your tree and greens fresh over the holidays.
Watch Mark's video tips on the best way to put lights and ornaments on the tree to get a beautiful effect.