Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Tips for Selecting the Best Real Christmas Tree

A family picks out a tree at Granger's in Mexico.
From Cornell University:

Tips for selecting the best Christmas tree: 
  • Don’t be afraid to handle and bend the branches and shoots. Green needles should not come off in your hands. Also, the shoots should be flexible. Avoid a tree if the needles are shed or if the shoots crack or snap with handling.
  • Look for a tree with a good solid green (or blue green for some species) color. Needle yellowing or a slight brown speckled color could indicate there was a pest problem and could lead to early needle drop.
  • Have fun looking over all the types of trees. New York growers are producing a wider variety of trees compared with past years. One can find New York grown firs such as Fraser, Balsam, Douglas and the bluish tinted Concolor fir. Spruces and old-fashioned pines can also be found. Each variety tree offers its own shape, color, fragrance, and branch stiffness for holding needles.
  • Christmas trees should smell good. If there isn’t much fragrance when you flex the needles, it may mean that the tree was cut too long ago.
  • If possible, make a fresh cut on the bottom so the tree’s vascular tissue (pipe work) is not plugged and so the tree can easily take up water. Then, if you’re not bringing it into the house right away, get the tree in a bucket of water outside.
  • Once you move your tree gets inside the house, don’t locate it next to a radiator, furnace vent or other heat source. And always remember to keep water in the tree stand topped off, so it never goes below the bottom of the trunk.
  • County Cooperative Extension offices often have lists of local Christmas tree growers. You can also check the Christmas Tree Farmers Association of New York website at http://www.christmastreesny.org/SearchFarm.php.

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