How to pick the perfect Christmas tree

With less than a month until Christmas, it won’t be long until we start putting our Christmas trees and decorations up! Although artificial trees are many people’s first choice, there are still a huge amount of us who are team real tree and love heading along to pick our chosen one for this Christmas. Here’s how to pick the perfect one and maintain it once you’re home…

Know what you want
Before you even head out the door, make sure you know exactly what sort of tree you are after. At most places, whether it be a team at a local wood or a homeware store, you’ll find at least four different types of Christmas tree.

A Norway Spruce is pyramid shaped and will drop needles fairly easily, a Nordmann Fir has dark green foliage and is better suited to fewer decorations. A Nordmann Fir also holds its needles very well, making it ideal if you want a good four weeks out of your tree. A Blue Spruce has a beautiful natural blue foliage, and a Fraser Fir, which is ideal for a smaller room, is leaner than other Christmas trees and has much denser foliage.

Measure beforehand
You’ll need to get the tape measure out to figure out how much space you actually have for a Christmas tree. Decide where you want it to go and measure the ceiling height and the width of the space. It’s also worth measuring your tree stand and treetop decoration, as they are little extra bits of height that are easy to forget about.

Write the measurements down to take with you, and don’t forget to take the measuring tape
We’re probably all guilty of totally underestimating the size of a Christmas tree, and being prepared beforehand will mean less time cutting the tree when you get home and more time decorating.

Check the freshness of the tree
Before picking a tree, there’s a few things you can do to make sure that it is ideal for you. You can give the tree a shake; if hardly any needles fall, then it’s fresh. You can also remove a needle and bend it in half; the needle should snap, but if it bends, that means that the tree is quite old.

Have a look at the needles too. If the tree is fresh, they will be shiny and green. If it is an old tree, they will be dry and brown.

Make a fresh cut in the trunk
After you have found the perfect tree, and have got it home safely, you will need to cut at least one inch off the trunk. If you’re unsure of how to do this, ask before you take the tree and a member of staff may be able to do it, as well as mounting and straightening the tree.

Get the tree into water
It is really important to get the tree into water as soon as possible after the fresh cut. If you leave it for a while, the trunk will scab over and this will stop the tree from being able to absorb water, meaning it won’t last long at all.

Once you have got it into water, keep a close eye on how much water the tree has. It will always need plenty, and especially in the first week or so, will need to be topped up at least three to four times a day.

Keep the tree out of harsh sunlight and away from fireplaces
It is also super important to keep your tree out of harsh sunlight and well away from fireplaces, if you want your tree to last the month. Harsh sunlight and warm drafts will discolour the tree before Christmas Day even arrives and make it incredibly dry.