The Perfect Christmas Tree
● By Digital Media Director
By: Todd Gannon, Riverview Christmas Tree Farm
The first thing you’ll want to decide is if you plan to cut your own tree down, or buy one from a local store. Choosing and cutting your own can be a fun family tradition and ensures you will have the freshest and longest lasting tree available. The other option is to head to one of the many retail locations that have pre-cut trees available. This option is convenient if you're pressed for time. Many pre-cut trees are actually cut during the fall and then wrapped up tight and stored in huge piles to keep from drying out. As soon as they get to the retail location, the clock starts ticking on needle retention.
Next you must choose the species. Fir are the most popular and most expensive. They offer great needle retention, a large number of firm branches for ornaments and are the most fragrant. Pine trees are also a popular choice and are often considered the “traditional tree.” Their price point is much lower and feature medium to long needles. Nearly all pine trees have been dyed to give them a deep green color. A third option is a spruce tree. They are very uniform in size and shape. The downfall of these types of trees is that they have very sharp needles, making decorating a little more challenging.
Once you have decided on the species, the most important thing to consider is what looks good to you at first sight. It’s really that simple. Do you like the looks of a tall or short tree, skinny or fat, tightly sheared or a little wild? These are all personal preferences and you can’t go wrong with what looks good to you. Make sure to measure the space you plan to put it in to ensure that the tree you pick fits the space properly. Obviously bringing home a tree that is too big can be a problem, but getting a tree too small for the space can be just as frustrating.
Also, don’t rule out a tree with one poor side. In most cases the tree will be against a wall and one side will never be visible. Doing so will give you a much larger selection to choose from and may allow you to find the perfect tree that many others overlooked.
Once you have your tree home, proper care for your tree is essential for maximum enjoyment. If you purchased a pre-cut tree you need to cut the bottom two inches off to open up the trunk so it will take water. This step is not necessary for fresh cut trees. The most important thing is to keep the tree watered. Fresh cut trees can drink close to five gallons of water a day in the first week, pre-cut trees will drink much less. If you let the tree go dry, you will have greatly reduced the needle retention of the tree.
For more information on the Riverview Christmas Tree Farm, check out their website: http://www.riverviewtreefarm.com/