The most popular varieties of Christmas trees are: Fraser Fir, Douglas Fir, White Pine, Scotch Pine, Noble Fir and Balsam Fir.
Freshness is the first and foremost criteria while purchasing a Christmas tree.
Always ask the vendor where the tree has come from and how long ago it was cut. If possible, buy a locally produced tree. The tree should be green and healthy with a fragrant smell and moist flexible needles with no trace of drying or browning. Avoid trees with broken branches or damaged bark. Bounce the tree lightly on its cut end if you can or shake it. If needles rain down, do not purchase that tree.
The next consideration is size- Make sure the tree you buy will fit comfortably in your room.Huge Christmas trees are meant only for palatial halls with high ceilings.Alternatively, choose a Christmas tree forest or a Christmas tree farm as a venue of your Christmas party. While choosing a tall Christmas tree, make sure the distance between the ceiling and the topmost part of the tree is enough to allow an ornament or angel to be placed on top. The tree stand should be able to support the weight of the tree along with decorations, lights and ornaments. A real tree will need a stand in which you can keep pouring lukewarm water from time to time to keep it fresh for longer time. Tree with smaller needles and space between the branches will make decorating it easier and ornaments will easily be visible once hung on its branches. Trim the tree well before decorating it and make the boughs parallel to the floor.
Check the bottom of the Christmas tree. Is there enough space between the end and the lowest branches to make a diagonal fresh cut? Cutting an extra inch off the bottom before mounting your tree will greatly help water absorption and ensure your tree lasts longer. Be sure to make this final cut just before placing it in water. If it is exposed to the air for long, the vessels will become blocked.
Artificial Christmas Trees
The short version of how to buy a high quality artificial Christmas tree is:
Height - The maximum height for your tree is the ceiling height minus 6 inches to allow for a star, angel, etc.
Remember, a 12 foot tree takes significantly more decorations than a 9.5 foot tree because the base is much wider.
Width - Your tree will look best if it is 6 to 18 inches from any wall. Use masking tape on the floor to get an idea. Stay away from slim trees for the family tree, you will be much happier with a shorter, better proportioned tree.
When shopping for an artificial tree, quality and price go hand in hand. The more you are willing to spend, the less artificial your tree will look. Less expensive trees, however, can still look very nice once they are decorated with ornaments and lights. Artificial trees come in an array of colors, including less traditional colors like purple and pink, to match any taste. You can also buy a pre-lit artificial tree, with traditional lights or with fiber-optic lighting. Some artificial trees are even pre-decorated.
Keep your home safe from some common Christmas-tree hazards by heeding these important tips
- Never place your tree near a heat source, such as a fireplace or portable heater.
- If you have small children or pets, trim the lower branches to avoid eye injuries.
- Hang all ornaments that are breakable, have small, detachable parts or metal hooks, or that look like food or candy on higher branches where small children can't reach them.
- Keep pets out of the room in which the tree is placed. Cats are notorious for leaping onto Christmas trees. Keep the tree from toppling by tying it to a ceiling hook. Both cats and dogs can knock down and break glass ornaments, then cut themselves on the pieces. Pets may also gnaw on electrical cords for Christmas-tree lights. Hide cords when possible, or help prevent injury by purchasing a pet-proof conduit, which will enclose cords and wires.
- Avoid using artificial snow sprays, it causes lung irritation.
- Turn off tree lights when you go to bed or leave the house. Use only UL-approved electrical decorations and extension cords, and check that no cords have frayed since you last used the lights.