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How to Choose a Real Christmas Tree

Every year we head out to our local Christmas Tree Farm and choose a tree. In the beginning we would get one that was too big, or had really sharp needles or ones with gaping holes.

I kind of think I am little bit of an expert now…and I want to share tips with you!

Before You Go

  • Choose where you will place the tree – Find a good spot in your home for your tree. Move furniture out of the way, make sure it’s not in a high traffic area so it’s not constantly being brushed up against. Also, stay away from any heat sources that can dry it out or get too hot.
  • Measure – Once you find your perfect spot measure the amount of space you have. We have 8 foot ceilings, so I know if I reach my arm up, that is about as tall as I want out tree to be. If you have higher ceilings take along a tape measure to make sure the tree is not too small or too tall. Don’t forget width too! We learned the hard way that sometimes we just get one that’s too wide and just takes up way too much space.
  • Place the tree stand – Put the tree stand where you want it and open it up so it’s ready for the tree. Make sure everything is ready so when you get home you’re not running around trying to find the tree stand!
  • Pack a Tarp – If you’re attaching the tree to roof of your car, make sure you pack a tarp or old blanket to help eliminate scratches.

Choosing A Tree At A Tree Lot

When you go to a fresh cut tree lot there are some things you want to look for that wouldn’t be a concern if you were cutting down your own tree.

  • Test the freshness – Take a limb or two and pull your hand towards you. Fresh trees will only lose a few or no needles. If you end up with a hand full of needles move on to the next. You can also drop the tree a few times on the ground to see if needles fall off. They might loose a few but should not shed all over.
  • Pick a Green Tree – If trees are starting to dry out, they will loose some of their color and they will get a whiter/blue hue to them.

Cutting Down Your Own Tree

  • Bring a Saw/Ax – Most Christmas tree farms will have saws you can use to cut down your own, but I have found they have limited supply. So bring your own so you don’t have to wait, and you’re more comfortable with your own tools anyway. (Stihl makes awesome axes to cut down trees)
  • Bring protective gloves – The tree farm we go to, you have drag your tree back up to top. Bring protective work gloves to save your hands from needles, sap and wood.
  • Check the Needles – The year my son was born, I sent out my husband to grab a tree since my son was only about 1.5 months old. He came back with the sharpest tree in the lot. He didn’t even think about it. I could barely touch the tree to place the ornaments! So always check the needles to make sure they’re not to sharp!
  • Have Fun and Take Photos – Cutting your own Christmas tree is such a fun family memory so don’t forget to take pictures! Plus they make great Christmas cards!
STIHL Battery Operated Chainsaw

When You Get Your Tree Home

  • Make a Fresh Cut – When you get home, if it wasn’t already done at the lot, make a fresh cut on the bottom of your tree. This is another reason I love my Battery Powered STIHL Chainsaw. (See why I think all households should own battery operated tools here) Since it’s the cold winter months, a gas powered chainsaw would be/should be winterized already. But with my Battery Operated STIHL Chain saw I pop in the battery and it’s ready to give your Christmas Tree a fresh cut!
  • Trim Bottom Branches – Using Loppers take off a few of the bottom branches on the tree so it has room to fit in your tree stand. Don’t forget to save these branches! You can place them in outdoor pots or use them inside for even more decorations!
  • Blow off Your Tree – When we get our tree home, before we bring it inside, I grab my Battery Powered Stihl Leaf Blower pop in the battery and blow off the tree. This will help get rid of any debris, leaves, insects or eggs that might be hiding in there.
  • Water Your Tree – As soon as your tree is in the stand water it. For the first few days you will need to water your tree constantly, to make sure it doesn’t dry out.

I hope these tips help you pick the perfect tree for your home and family! If you’re looking for tools to help you with your tree cutting or for keeping up in your yard check out STIHL for amazing tools!

Are you team Live or Artificial?