Before You Buy a Real Live Christmas Tree: Things to Consider

by interior designer

in General

I’ve always considered real live Christmas trees to be a better choice than artificial Christmas trees. There’s nothing quite like bringing nature into the home with all the beautiful natural scent and aromas this contributes to an interior. All my life, my family and I have bought real live Christmas trees a few weeks before the festive period and placed them in the garden awaiting the time when we bring the Christmas tree indoors, usually around the 21st or 22nd of December. If you’re going for the live Christmas tree option this year, then you should consider the points below which will help you select the best tree for you and your family as well as the ideal shape and size for the inside of your home.

fraser-fir-real-live-christmas-treeIt’s important to shop early for a natural live Christmas tree. As one might expect, the best ones are snapped up weeks before late December and so it’s unlikely you’ll find the tree of your dreams after the middle of December. Of course, locations vary and in some areas there might be a wealth of quality trees but this tends to be the exception. My advice, for next year especially, is to buy a Christmas tree in November and store it outside in the yard.

Real live Christmas trees can be bought online and that’s exactly what over 300,000 Americans do every year. This takes away the laborious job of trudging through tree lots and stores for live Christmas trees when its snowing or raining, freezing cold and under time pressures from work. Just give the dimensions and type of live Christmas tree you want and they do all the rest, including delivering the tree to your door. There is an element of trust in this and I have to admit, there is nothing quite like being able to see the Christmas tree up close before you make a purchase.

The type of real live Christmas tree you select is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in regards to festive d├ęcor. There are 11 types of tree that I can think of, that are popular for North American customers. These include: Fraser Fir, Douglas Fir, Balsam Fir, Colorado Blue Spruce, Scotch Pine, Eastern Red Cedar, White Spruce, Eastern White Pine, White Fir or Concolor Fir, Virginia Pine and the Noble Fir. Each one has a different color, texture, aromatic strength, size and also needle retention strength. Depending on how early you put the live Christmas tree up and for what type of interior you want it for, these factors will be important when it comes to your purchasing decision.

real-live-decorated-christmas-treeIf you purchase a live Christmas tree from a tree lot of shopping center, then it is important to be able to touch the tree and move it about. One great test of needle retention and health of the Christmas tree is to lift the tree clear off the ground and drop it vertically onto a hard surface. If a shower of needles fall off, then it’s not the tree for you. A real live Christmas tree should have a nice fragrance and be rich green in color. The branches should be pliable and bend without too much resistance.

As I mentioned previously, I’ve always bought real live Christmas trees. There is another reason why I like live ones and that’s for environmental reasons. Most trees in the United States are grown on Christmas tree farms which are specifically built to be kind to the natural eco-system. Scenic green belts are created where the trees grow and when one is taken down, more are planted in its place and allowed to grow. These woodlands provide a safe refuge for wildlife as a whole.

When Christmas has come to an end and its time to get rid of the real live tree, the method of disposing of the Christmas tree is again friendly to the environment. Many are chipped, to be used for landscaping and placed in other natural locations such as lakes, which benefit the fish. Artificial Christmas trees on the other hand, might last a few years long but create a non-biodegradable waste problem when it comes to getting rid of them. As well as this, real Christmas trees are all American grown whereas artificial Christmas trees are usually made in Taiwan or South Korea.

Whichever type of real live Christmas tree you have bought or decide to buy, let me just take this time to wish you a very Merry Christmas!

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