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It’s that time again! And it seems to be getting earlier every year. I swear I saw Christmas stuff in the stores in August…

But nevertheless, people are starting to think about getting their tree. The weekend after Thanksgiving is usually the busiest for tree farms. But what should you be looking for in a tree and how to care for it?

10 Things to Know About Buying a Real Christmas Tree

Here are 10 things to know about buying and caring for a real Christmas tree.

#1. Shop early.

There earlier you shop it will pay off with less competition for higher-quality Christmas tree selections and a fresher tree.

#2. Look at all the different Christmas tree varieties to find the one that smells and looks the way you want it.

#3. Consider buying a tree online.

300,000 people find their Christmas tree online every year. You can buy trees directly from a quality Christmas tree grower and save valuable holiday time. It might seem like a ridiculous thing to order a Christmas tree online, but you can order everything else online these days, so why not?

#4. The difference between a lot versus a farm.

A retail lot, like those out in front of Safeway or Walmart, means that you’re not too sure about the tree’s freshness. These trees could be 2 to 3 weeks old already. Take hold of the branch and pull your hand toward you. If all the needles fall off, the tree is old. Selecting a tree at a Christmas tree farm might be your best bet as will be the freshest and last the longest, especially if you cut it yourself.

#5. Consider a living Christmas tree.

Living Christmas trees can be replanted after Christmas but remember that they should not stay inside longer than about 10 days. This could be an issue if you like to decorate early.

#6. Check the top of the tree.

If the top of the tree is still full, chances are it’s a healthy tree. Do a little test; bend a needle, if it forms a ‘U’ without breaking, it’s not too dry.

#7. Be careful on the type of tree you choose.

Spruce, pine, and fir the most popular but Spruce tends to drop its needles first and fir will be the longest lasting.

#8. Water and the minute you get home.

By Popular Science (Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Popular Science (Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Water it as much as it needs to keep the holder or bucket full. Remember, if you have dogs or cats, they can be drinking this water so it can go down faster than you assume. Many trees will survive as long as you keep them watered.

#9. Keep the tree away from direct heat.

When you get homes off about 2 cm from the bottom of the trunk to let it suck up more water and keep the tree away from fireplaces, events, heaters or anything that could cause a little bit of extra warmth and dry out the tree.

#10. Be careful about the size.

Seeing a tree out in the field is much different than seeing it in your house. Set your mind on the size of tree and height you want and stick to it when you get out in the field. It might look small on the lot but when you get home, it could be much better than anticipated. Typically a 6 to 8-foot tree is average.

Have a wonderful Christmas season and check back to our blog frequently on tree care and after Christmas tree disposal.