The annual search to choose your Christmas tree can sometimes feel as though you’re Hansel and Gretel using breadcrumbs to find your way through a dense forest. To guide you towards your perfect tree, here’s a sturdy path of tips and tricks:
1. Get out your measuring tape
Before you set off to the shops, measure the ceiling height of the room you’ve decided to display your tree in. Take into account that the tree will be on a stand and that the Christmas star will need its own space on top too. You may also want to measure the width of the space available, so that branches don’t overspill onto someone’s lap whilst they enjoy a warm mince pie on the sofa. Note down the diameter of your stand to ensure that you don’t choose a tree with a trunk that’s too thick.
2. Do your homework
There are a number of different Christmas tree varieties to choose from – find your perfect match by reading up in advance. Nordman Firs are strong, durable and ideal for heavier ornaments. The scent is not as distinguished as other varieties, but the needles are known for their ability to stay intact if watered regularly.
Cut Spruces drop their needles once fully dried, but a pot-grown tree will perform perfectly through Christmas day and beyond, providing a distinct seasonal fragrance along the way. You can also replant it in your garden afterwards!
3. Make it a family day out
Choosing a tree together is a great way to kick off the Christmas season. Treat the kids to hot chocolate, let them pick a couple of decorations and enlist their help to find the bushiest, greenest, healthiest tree on offer. To detect freshness, feel along the bottom branches. They should be flexible and most of the needles should stay intact. Sap shows that a tree is still fresh, so if it’s sticky, that’s a good sign.
4. Give your tree some TLC
Keeping your tree fresh will extend its life – and you’ll end up with fewer needles nestling between the presents underneath. Cut half an inch to an inch from the base of the trunk and place the tree in water as soon as possible. Direct sunlight will discolour the needles and dry it out, so try to avoid it as much as possible when choosing a position. Always make sure the tree has plenty to drink throughout the festive season. Rather than mulled wine, their preference is a daily dose of plain fresh water.
5. Decorate, sit back, enjoy…
Decorating the tree is often one of the first Christmassy things you’ll do, so put on some carols and have a good sing-along to get into the festive spirit. If you’ve followed our tips so far, your tree should stay looking lush and gorgeous right through to New Year – and we hope it brings you a large helping of Christmas cheer!
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The Willow & Hall Team