Upping the Tree Game

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As you’re getting ready to jolly up the living room, these simple Christmas tree tips will keep that bah-humbug at bay.



Thin trees, fat trees, long needles or short, selecting the perfect tree takes some thought. Start by picking out what tree species you’re leaning towards. Wanting a tree that looks like it came from the woods? A cedar tree may be what you are going for with its dark, shiny green needles and light compact branches. Want a more tailored look? Check out a Scotch Pine with its distinct straight-line detail and multi-shades of green needles.


That tree in the store looked just the perfect size but once in its spot at home, it intrudes into everyone’s space. Before you hit that BUY IT button, assess where it will be set up. Break out the tape measure to determine the height and width that will fit comfortably in your room. Don’t forget to check the ceiling height and how tall your tree topper is.


While traditional and the most natural looking, GREEN isn’t the only color choice for your tree. FLOCKED trees appear to be covered in snow. COLORED trees can be fun with choices of pink, blue, white, or even purple. FEATHER trees come in all colors and can be made of real feathers, usually goose, or synthetic feathers. Retro trees of TINSEL/ALUMINUM have made a nostalgic comeback, with their shiny needles creating the perfect light reflection.


Made up of branch tips and tip count, even the shape of the needles, the fullness of your tree coordinates with the style of the tree. The number of branch tips can indicate the quality of the tree. The higher the tip count, the more realistic look the tree will achieve, and the more ornaments can decorate the tree.


The final decision you need to make before saying Yes To The Tree is if you want a pre-lit tree or one you will put on the lights yourself. Pre-lit trees usually have white or colored lights but some have a color change option. Be sure to view the tree lit up to make sure you are satisfied with the number of lights on the tree. If you are doing the light install, the guide of 300 lights for every foot of tree is the standard.



Cutting a tree fresh tops the list, but that’s not always possible, so onto the customary touch and smell test. Crush the needles in your hand, they should release that wonderful smell of Christmas. Grab any branch between your thumb and finger and gently pull towards yourself. If you end up with a handful of needles, go onto tree #2. Lift the tree a few inches and drop the trunk onto the ground. If the needles toward the end of the branches fall off that is a sign to leave this tree on the lot. 


A Charlie Brown tree has its charm, but usually isn’t the best choice for a family tree. If you’re heading out to the local tree farm, selections of Balsam Fir, Fraser Fir, Scotch Pine, and White Pine will be waiting to fill your home with merry merry.


The tree you’re viewing outside will easily fit inside can be an optical illusion. Know your ceiling height and subtract your stand height and tree topper before you choose that perfect tree. Also, check the depth of the area your tree will be displayed in so you aren’t squishing its branches against the walls. Walk around the tree, go for a symmetrical shape with no gapping open areas if you’ll be viewing more than just the front side of the tree. 


No matter the number of lights and ornaments, a parched tree puts a damper on its festive appearance. To make sure your tree stays fresh and hydrated, re-cut the tree’s base before putting it in the stand. Pick out a stand that holds a minimum of 1 gallon of water and refill DAILY. No need to add anything extra, your tree just wants plain tap water and lots of it. And make sure the tree trunk fits easily in the stand opening as trimming the trunk will damage and shorten your tree’s lifeline and lifetime. 


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