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Tips On Selecting A Tree At A Retail Lot

Below are some tips to help you become a better-educated consumer
and enjoy a satisfying experience with your Real Tree.

  • Check to be certain of the size (height and width) you will need before heading to the retail lot.
  • It would be helpful to be aware of the type of tree that will fulfill your needs.  Check our page on “tree varieties and descriptions” for details.
  • Do a freshness test on the trees. Green needles on fresh trees break crisply when bent sharply with the fingers.
  • Pines have different indicators because of the fibrous nature of their needles compared to firs. The needles on fresh pines do not break, unless they are very dry.
  • Check for other indicators of dryness or deterioration such as excessive needle loss, discolored foliage or a musty odor.  
  • Ask the retailer about recycling Christmas Trees in your community.
  • It’s fun to involve the whole family in the selection of a tree.  Enjoy the experience.

Tips on Selecting a Real Tree at a “Choose & Cut” Tree Farm
Evaluate your needs before departing for the farm:

  • Know the ceiling height in the room where the tree will be displayed. The trees in the field look small when the sky is the ceiling.
  • Measure the width of the area of the room where the tree will be located..
  • What decorating theme will be used? Some species have more open foliage, stiffer branches or longer needles.  Check our information on “tree varieties and descriptions” for details.

What You Should Expect When You Arrive at the Farm

  • Most tree farms keep their fields very well groomed, but there are some things that are beyond the farmer's control. Be careful of tree stumps, an occasional blackberry vine, uneven ground and sharp saws.
  • Go to the farm prepared for a day in the country. Wear comfortable shoes and clothing. Don’t forget your camera.
  • Saws are usually provided by the farm operator. Check ahead of time.
  • Some farms measure and price their trees individually; others sell them by the foot. You may want to ask about the pricing policy before heading out in the field.
  • Select the tree that fits your predetermined needs. Check the trunk to be sure that it is sufficiently straight. Also check that the tree has a sufficiently long handle to accommodate your stand.
  • In the fall of the year all conifers drop, or shed, a certain portion of their oldest needles. This is a normal part of the life cycle of the tree. This naturally occurs because the tree is preparing itself for winter. Most farms provide shaking, or blowing services so that you will depart with a perfectly clean tree.
  • After the tree is cut, move it to the processing area where it will be cleaned and baled. Baling makes transporting and handling the tree much easier.

Now it’s time to take your freshly-cut Real Tree home to decorate it for Christmas!

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