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Part of the wondrous splendor of the winter holiday season is the smell of a fresh tree in the home. Douglas Firs, Scotch Pines, Fraser, and Balsam Fir trees all put on their finest shows during this time. Of the types of holiday trees that are purchased, the most popular still tend to be the Fraser and Balsam fir trees because they do not leak sap as much, which makes them less likely to dry out as fast as the other types of trees.

When Holiday Trees Are Cut Matters

Ideally, the tree isn’t cut until you show up to purchase it. However, if you are getting your fresh holiday tree from a lot where they have already been cut, ask the seller when the trees were cut and shipped. To guarantee a fresh tree that will last a while, do not accept a tree that has been cut more than 10 days prior to Thanksgiving. This is because in most of the places where holiday trees are grown, by Thanksgiving there have been a few hard frosts which make the sap in the tree solidify. If you are purchasing a tree from a lot, have the seller recut the bottom of the tree prior to loading it onto your car or truck. This will make sure it stays fresher longer.

Shake It Up, Baby

If you find a tree that you like, give it a gentle shake and observe to see how many, if any, needles hit the ground. If it sheds like your Aunt Martha’s Labrador, do not buy it. If this happens, it means that the tree was cut too long ago. This also makes it more of a fire hazard.

Types of Holiday Trees

Certain types of trees have different shapes. Some have open branches, which may make it more difficult for you to get your ornaments to hang right. Others have sturdier branches, like the Fraser fir. Many trees are pre-shaped prior to shipping, meaning that the grower trims the tree into a pleasing shape. However, this also gives the tree more opportunity to drip sap, too. Take a minute to look at the ends of the branches to see whether this has been done or not.

Keeping it Fresh

From the minute a tree is cut, it begins to die and the clock starts ticking. You can prolong the life of your tree by doing several things. First, do not let it dry out, and keep it watered. Secondly, use a fertilizer that is created specifically for trees. Prolong is one such product and is easy to find. If you can’t find this, then make a homemade drink for the tree, incorporating one gallon of hot water to a cup of sugar. Make sure the sugar is fully dissolved and that the water has cooled before giving this to the tree.

Do You Need the Big Tree?

Each year, and undoubtedly in holiday sitcoms, there has been the situation where the holiday tree that has been purchased is too large for the actual home. This means that the homeowner ends up having to chop off the bottom of the tree in order to place it in the room. A good way to determine the maximum size for the room is to measure the height of your ceiling, and then measure the topper that goes on your tree. Subtract the topper’s measurements from the ceiling’s measurements, and then you’ll have the exact height that your tree can reach.

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