With Thanksgiving just a couple of weeks away many people are already beginning to think about purchasing their Christmas tree. I thought this excerpt from of one of our extension publications may be helpful as you consider this years tree.
Selecting the Right Tree
Selection of the "perfect" Christmas tree can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. By following a few simple procedures, buyers can select trees which will meet their needs throughout the holiday season.
Before setting out to purchase a tree, determine where in the home the tree will be located, the size required, and whether all sides will be displayed. Other characteristics such as tree density, color, and fragrance should also be considered. Next, determine whether a cut tree or one "balled and burlapped" is to be purchased, or if a visit to a "choose and cut " farm is preferred. A large number of growers, civic and charitable organizations and retail stores provide trees that only need to be purchased and taken home. "Ball and burlap" trees are sold with roots intact so that replanting is possible after the holiday season. At "choose and cut" farms, trees are chosen where they are growing in the field and then cut for use.
Caring for a Tree After Purchase
Once a tree is purchased, keeping it fresh requires watering on a regular basis and avoiding high temperatures. If the tree is bought several days before it is to be decorated, it should be stored outside in a cool, shaded area. The base should be sawed on a diagonal about one inch above the original cut, and the base placed in a container of water. Sprinkling or misting the tree with water will also help retain freshness, but the tree should not be soaked.
Whether stored or not, before bringing the tree in the house, a square cut should be sawed on the base. The base of the tree should be kept in water throughout entire period that the tree is in use. The water level in the stand should be checked daily. Research has indicated that water additives are not needed and may even result in excessive drying.
The tree should be well supported and placed away from sources of heat. Tree lights should not be left on unless someone is at home, and should be turned off when the family goes to bed. Electrical cords should also be checked for any signs of damage or wear. Trees do not cause fires but will support combustion when dry. Dry trees should be removed before they create a fire hazard.
For more info go to: