Find the best real Christmas tree of the year! Learn about different types of real Christmas trees, their benefits and how to water your live Christmas tree with the help of Chop Doc! 🎅
Artificial Christmas trees have come a long way. You can buy them pre-lit, and many of them have timers to take the hassle out of remembering to cut the tree on or off. Also, you can find some artificial trees with cute multicolored branches and turntables. And there are a lot more accessories that you can grow to expect to see on today’s artificial Christmas tree, which makes you wonder: Why should someone want a real Christmas tree these days when you get all these gadgets of convenience already installed with an artificial tree?
5 Reasons to Get a Real Christmas Tree This Year
Here are 5 reasons why buying a real Christmas tree is a better choice than an artificial one.
1. Eliminate Storage Dilemma: One advantage of a real Christmas tree used to be the convenience of not having to color code match the branches when assembling the tree, but even that issue no longer exists since some artificial trees are being sold already assembled. But one problem the pre-assembled fake tree does not eliminate is the issue of where to store the tree and its accessories once the season is over. With a real Christmas tree, all you have to do is remove the accessories and throw the tree out. You will only need to make a small space for the decorations and other accessories.
2. Support of Local Businesses: Buying fresh cut Christmas trees can be your way of supporting your local community businesses. Your purchase of a live Christmas tree will show appreciation for the hard work of local farmers or other types of local businesses that make a living from selling trees and lumber.
Looking for Texas Christmas tree farms? Click here!
3. Support Eco-Friendly Practices: Contrary to popular belief that live Christmas trees have a negative impact on the environment, they actually help the environment. Each time a Christmas tree is cut, it allows for the growth of more trees (3 seedlings planted for each cut tree). And since one acre of Christmas trees produces enough oxygen for 18 people, Christmas trees provide a beneficial addition of oxygen in our world.
4. No PVC Toxicity: Another advantage of having a real Christmas tree over having an artificial one is the absence of PVC toxicity. Because artificial trees are made with PVC (polyvinyl chloride), they contain lead to keep the branches soft and the material stabilized. Studies on the lead content in artificial Christmas trees revealed that over time, the lead content will dissolve from the PVC material and start to seep out. This is especially the case with trees over than 10 years old. Therefore, a real Christmas tree eliminates the possibility of having harmful lead deposits seeping into your living space and storage space.
5. Aromatherapeutic Effect of a Real Christmas Tree’s Smell: And nothing tops the smell of a real Christmas tree, your kids will love it! But the pleasant smell does more than just please the senses. There’s also a health benefit to the compounds found in a real Christmas tree. Various historical accounts and studies on evergreen essential oils reveal that evergreen oils reduce stress, relieve bronchial and chest congestion and relieve sore muscles.
3 Types of Real Christmas Trees
Looks like the Christmas tree really does bring Christmas cheer. So, if you are deciding to get a real Christmas tree this year, try choosing your tree from the following types:
Scotch Pine & Eastern White Pine
Fir: Douglas, Grand, White, Balsam, Noble or Fraser
Spruce: Black Hills, White, Colorado Blue, Norway
10 Tips to Help You Select the Right Christmas Tree
1. Make sure you carefully choose the space where you want to place the Christmas tree. The ideal place will be a location that is cool but not drafty. Never put a fresh cut Christmas tree near heated areas like AC vents, fireplaces or electronic equipment that produce a lot of heat because they will dry your tree out and cause it to turn brown.
2. Make sure you measure the space where you want to place your tree. Take measurements of the width and height of the space you are reserving for the Christmas tree. There’s nothing worse than guessing how big your space is and finding out the tree you bought won’t fit into the designated space.
3. Make sure to buy from an established nursery or get permission from a landowner to cut down a tree on their property. Beware of places that don’t accept credit card purchases because they may be selling leftover trees that may not have much freshness left.
4. Remember when shopping: the taller the tree, the larger the base. Allow an appropriate amount of space between the tree and the ceiling for a Christmas tree topper.
5. Make sure the tree is pest free. If you’ve ever watched National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, you remember how horrified the family was to discover the new Christmas tree Clark Griswold had cut down (after the first one burned up) had a squirrel living in it. It may have been a hilarious scene for the movie viewers, but we all know we would be just as horrified if we had a squirrel or other creatures popping out our Christmas tree. To be safe, check the tree for insects and animal life.
6. Shape Preference: Choose a tree with an appealing shape that fits where you need it and fits your budget. Personal preferences will also determine what type of tree you select. You may be the person who likes the cone-shaped look. Some people like short and wide trees, but there are some who like tall, skinny trees. Just know that fat trees tend to cost more because they are in high demand.
7. Check for sap: A fresh tree is one that still produces sap. If the tree is still producing sap, you will see sticky places on the tree. So, test for the presence of sap by hugging the tree. If you have sap on your clothes after hugging the tree, then you have yourself a fresh Christmas tree.
8. Check for snap: If you get a Douglas or Frasier fir tree, you can detach a needle from a branch and bend it in half. If it snaps, then you know you have a fresh tree. Also, if only a few needles fall off when you tap the cut end of the tree, the tree is still fresh. But if a lot of needles fall off, it’s a sign of an aged tree.
9. Check for dull-looking needles: If the needles on the tree look dull, it can mean the tree is dehydrated or old. To make sure you get a tree worth having, go with the greener is the better mindset.
10. Check for flexibility: Pine and fir trees make good Christmas trees because of their flexible branches. However, when they start to age the branches start to stiffen, and they are no longer suitable for being a Christmas tree. If you are shopping at an established nursery, you won’t have the problem of trying to separate the fresh from the older trees.
4 Tips for Caring for your Real Christmas Tree
How to take care of a real Christmas tree?
There’s nothing sadder than having a real Christmas tree, and it looks like it has no life left in it. So, it’s important to make sure the choice to have a real Christmas tree produces the memorable moment you were looking for. These tips will help you maintain a fresh Christmas tree. Remember: how long does a live Christmas tree last depends on the right selection and proper Christmas tree care.
1. Cut trees tend to ooze out pitch, which closes up the pores. Therefore, once you get your tree home, use your saw to cut a few inches off the bottom of the trunk prior to placing the tree in water. The pores will open, and the tree will be able to absorb and maintain water.
2. After you cut the bottom of the trunk, waste no time getting it into some water to prevent the trunk from developing a scab (which will keep it from absorbing water).
3. Do not expose the tree to harsh elements like direct sunlight and heater vent drafts. Doing so will fade the color of your tree and make it die quickly.
4. Never let the basin run out of the water. Tree water additives, such as sugar, vinegar, or even specially designed additives, are not effective. Just plain water will do but don’t overdo it. If you ask me: “What do you put in Christmas tree water to keep the tree fresh?”, I would definitely answer: “NOTHING!“
If you interested in how to water Christmas tree like a pro – watch this video made by our friend Eric Palonen!
5 Exciting Ideas for Christmas Tree Decoration
Now that your tree is situated, it’s time to decorate it. Here are a few pointers to consider when decorating a real Christmas tree.
Mini lights or LED lights are perfect for real Christmas trees because they produce less heat. If you want to chance it with larger lights, you can opt for:
- Bubble lights – These large lights have a nostalgic look.
- Candle-style – These are another classic look.
- Globe lights – These very large lights produce a soft glow.
- Incandescent lights – These can be bought in both small and large sizes.
The warmth of these lights helps release oils from the tree.
If you want to have a tree that really glows, try combining two types of lights.
You want to start at the top of the tree and work your way down when hanging the lights. For that extra glow, make sure to have lights as close to the trunk as possible.
Quick Tip: How to Take Holiday Photos with LED Christmas Lights!
The possibilities are endless! String some popcorn, beads or cranberries. You can also use cable knit trim or wired ribbon. No matter which one(s) you use, make sure to drape the strands vertically from the top and make them look even. It usually takes about two strands of garland per foot of a tree.
Lead 8 ways to add ribbon on your Christmas tree!
Put your “just-got-to-use-these” ornaments on first. After that, hang the largest ones up and then cover any gaps with smaller-sized ornaments. Icicles can fill in gaps also.
- Tree Skirts, Stands and Bases
- Baskets or crates
are the most popular covers for Christmas trees because they bring a chic and cozy rustic touch to any space and look rather neutral at the same time, they will fit many interiors and décor styles. Your tree can be decorated with various ornaments, garlands, buntings and other things, or you can just have some lights on or maybe no décor – with a basket your tree will be fabulous!
- Fabric or Skirt
There are skirts you can buy at most retail outlets, but you can also make your own skirt. Some people take fabric and enclose the tree stand with it. The fabric is often held in place with a ribbon. Get a little more creative by trying thematic skirts like this faux fir tree skirt which resembles fallen snow. You can make a polar bear winter wonderland under your tree or have a snow village scene.
- Your Christmas Tree Topper
Most people love using angel ornaments to top your tree, but why not try buying or making a bow—a ribbon tree topper—for your Christmas tree this year? It’s the easiest to attach to your tree because it can be secured with pipe cleaners. You can follow the easy-to-understand demonstration on making a Christmas tree bow topper on this video.
If the ribbon tree topper is not your taste, keep in mind how to attach the other types of tree toppers by considering the tips below:
- Spiral-based Chrismas tree topper: you want to use the sturdiest branch to fit into the coil. Attach green floral tape to secure the ornament and hide the spring.
- Cone-shaped Christmas tree topper: This ornament can be attached by taking the top branches and inserting them into it.
With a few more personal touches 🎄 here and there, you should have yourself one beautiful tree.
Christmas has always been that time of year that speaks family time and memorable moments, and there’s nothing that displays the excitement and nostalgia of Christmas more than having a real Christmas tree. Having a real Christmas tree can start a new family tradition for those who’ve never thought of getting one before.
You can make Christmas tree hunting a special family outing, and you can turn to decorate the tree into a mini-Christmas 🎁 party (with cider, hot chocolate, music and sweet delights). For those still debating on experiencing a real Christmas tree, the tips above should ease your concerns about whether you can handle having a real tree in the house this year. After all, it’s just once a year, right? Let’s make the moment as memorable as fresh baked Christmas cut-out cookies with sweet frosting.