Whether you visit a tree farm or a local lot to purchase your Christmas tree this year, these tips and tricks will help you select the best Christmas tree for your space.

1. Decide where to display your tree

Do you have a perfect picture window? What room of your house has the highest ceiling to accommodate a tall tree?

While you look for the perfect place remember that sunlight and heat cause a tree to become brittle. Protecting your tree from these elements means less discoloration and needle clean-up.

2. Measure your space

First, measure the ceiling height. Next, measure the size of your tree topper and the base stand and subtract from available space. Last measure the approximate width of the space that you wish to fill. Some tree lots mark trees options “narrow” or “full” shaped. Most precut trees are tapered 80%; an 8-foot tree will be about 6 ½ feet wide at the bottom.

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3. Type of tree

Fir, pine and spruce trees are the most common trees grown for Christmas. Fir and pine tree needles cling better than spruce needles. Fir trees smell most Christmasy. Pine trees tend to be more expensive. All make beautiful trees. Pick whichever tree variety compliments your taste and décor.

4. Fresh is best

Fresh trees have a better moisture content. The higher level of moisture means limbs stay stronger longer and needles adhere better to branches.

Look for:

  • Flexible not brittle needles
  • Consistent color
  • Strong fragrance
  • A solid trunk that is long enough for stand

5. Tips to transport your tree

Christmas tree on top of carWrap your tree in a tarp and secure tarp with bungees. Tie the tree to the top of your vehicle with the bottom trunk pointed forward. Double check that the tree is securely tied before heading home.

6. Set-up

Cut 1 inch off the tree trunk before setting in the stand. A fresh, flat cut will help with water absorption. Add water to the tree stand immediately. Check water every 24 hours. The tree will consume a lot of water the first few days.

The market is full of products that claim to prolong the life of Christmas trees. Old timers say molasses, honey or sugar are more effective. Some swear home remedies like aspirin and 7-Up work even better. I’ve tried both market and home remedies and found neither effective.

Providing your tree with plenty of fresh water is the best way to keep it looking fresh and healthy all season long.

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