The celebrating of Christmas with a real tree has been a tradition for over 400
years. At one time all Christmas trees were cut from natural stands (or
straight out of the forest). These trees looked nothing like today's
professionally grown, pruned and shaped trees. To some, Christmas just isn't
Christmas without a real Christmas tree. The following are a few hints to help
you select that perfect tree whether you will purchase it from us or a market
Decide on where you will place the tree. Will it be seen from all sides or will
some of it be up against a wall? Be sure to choose a spot away from wind and
Measure the height you have available in the room where the tree will be
placed. There is nothing worse than bringing a tree home only to find it's too
tall. Take a tape measure with you. Remember a tree in a farm plantation will
look relatively small but will be much bigger than you thought when you get it
Choosing Your Tree
Remember that trees sold on retail lots in urban areas may have come from out
of state and may have been exposed to hot drying winds in transit. They may
have been cut weeks earlier.
Choose a fresh tree. A fresh tree will have a healthy green appearance with few
browning needles. Needles should be flexible and not fall off, if you run a
branch through your hand. Raise the tree a few inches off the ground and drop
it on the butt end. Green needles should not drop off the tree. It is normal
for a few inner brown needles to drop off.
Make sure the handle, or base, of the tree is straight and at least 20 cm long so
it will fit easily into your stand.
Keeping Your Tree Fresh
Now that you and your family have chosen that perfect tree it's time to bring
it home. Here are a few tips on how to keep your tree fresh throughout
the holiday season.
If you are not putting the tree up right away store it in a sheltered, cool
place until you are ready to decorate it.
When you are ready to decorate the tree, cut about 1 cm off the butt end and
place the tree in a bucket of water or suitable stand.
A tree will absorb as much as 4 litres of water in the first 24 hours and one
or two litres a day thereafter. Water is important because it helps to prevent
the needles from drying and drooping. Water also keeps the tree fragrant.
Keep the tree stand filled with water. A seal of dried sap will form over the
cut stump in four hours or so. If the water drops below the base of the tree,
it prevents the tree from absorbing water later when the tree stand is refilled.
If a seal does form another fresh cut will need to be made.
Commercially prepared mixes, aspirin, sugar and other additives added to water
are not necessary. Research has shown that plain water will keep a tree fresh.