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If you want to fill your home with the smell of Christmas, the Fraser Fir may be your best choice for a Christmas tree. These trees are among the most aromatic as they produce a strong balsam scent—the scent that is stereotypically associated with Christmas. In addition to smelling great, these trees look great as well.
They are covered with soft, 1 inch silver-green needles. There is ample space between branches creating tons of decorating space—the Fraser is a lot easier to decorate than most trees. You also won't have to worry about damaging those ornaments as thie branches on these babies are sturdy enough to hold your heaviest ornaments without bending.
*The trees usually won't be sheared as they grow in a shape that is essentially ideal for a Christmas tree. And, as long as the cut properly and watered, the Frasier Fir will maintain wonderful needle retention. Some say they're the perfect Christmas trees.
So that Fraser Fir finally bit the dust, now what do you do with it? Believe it or not, you have multiple options when it comes to disposing of your yuletide décor. Here are some ideas to help you choose your own personal method of disposal:
Pine trees are often selected as Christmas trees and for good reason—they're fantastic. The Scotch pine is one of the most popular Christmas picks. It is equipped with stiff branches, thickly covered in dark green needles that are 1 to 3 inches long.
The branches are extremely sturdy and can support heavy ornaments. In addition, the tree is very open, providing ample space for ornaments. To sweeten the pot, these trees are deliciously fragrant and will fill your home with a lovely pine aroma throughout the season. And, the needles will not shed for 4 weeks.
*Be on the lookout, Scotch pines naturally yellow in the winter so they are sometimes sprayed with green coloring.
If you want to get the most out of that gorgeous blue spruce, take good care of it. The lower the temperature and the higher the humidity, the longer a freshly cut Christmas tree will stay looking beautiful.
Be sure that you care for that beautiful fir tree, even before you get it into your home. Try to keep the tree covered with some type of tarp while you're transporting it (especially if it's strapped to the top of your vehicle) or it may dry out. You may want to ask the grower or the person who runs the lot if they can provide you with a plastic bag for the tree, many of them provide this type of thing.
If you plan on leaving the tree outside for several days before being lugging it into the house, keep it out of extreme heat of cold and keep it away from the wind. It's a good idea to place it under or behind something—but don't squish it. Additionally, if you plan on storing your tree for a few days, it's smart to put the trunk in water to keep it from drying out.
Don't just head out to the Christmas tree lot and pick any fir tree that you see; you should select your tree carefully. Before even leaving your house take exact measurements of the area where you will be setting up your tree. Then, measure trees that you are considering at the lot. You shouldn't, under any circumstances, estimate the measurements.
What are you going to do with a 9-foot tree if your ceiling is 7 feet tall? The last thing you want is to have branches consuming your living room and a treetop scraping across your nicely painted ceiling. Trees in a lot tend to look much smaller than they are so make a smart decision. And, in addition to measuring the height, measure the width of the trees.
If you end up having to trim down the circumference of the tree, you will significantly reduce the attractiveness of the tree. Consider that Christmas tree farmers shear an average of 66 percent off of the trees initially—much more than that might leave your tree looking like Charlie Brown's.
When looking through those intimidating large rows of pine trees and assorted spruces, it can be hard to find the perfect one. When faced with so many choices many people are too busy trying to find something better that they miss out on great trees. And, second guess becomes almost second nature.
Here are some things to keep in mind that will keep you on the right track to finding a fantastic tree:
Are you searching for the perfect Christmas tree? A blue spruce is a gorgeous choice. These trees are often used for stuffing pine-pillows. The needles are 1 to 1 ½ inched long and bluish-gray in color. It is very attractive and has excellent needle retention.
One of the best attributes of these trees is that they have wonderful symmetrical shapes (this makes them look great from every angle). I addition, the branches are stiff and sturdy making them excellent for supporting ornaments. They may not be the best choice of tree to have around children, however, as they are quite prickly.
*If you allow your blue spruce to dry out, EVERY needle will fall on the floor.
Is that fir tree you're picking out clean? If you're not exactly sure what a “clean Christmas tree” is, it's about time you were briefed. Clean trees are trees that are not covered with any foreign plant particles (vines, grass, leaves, etc.). Additionally, they have been shaken to rid them of any dead needles that may have found their way intot he branches.
A freshly cut Christmas tree that hasn't been shaken may have thousands of stray needles attached to it—imagine that mess! If you care for a freshly cut, clean tree properly it should last through the entire holiday season with the problem. The most sure-fire way to ensure that you get a fresh tree is to head out to a farm where you can select your own tree for the chopping. If this isn't an option, however, test the firmness of the needles on a tree you find in a lot before buying it (this will be a tell-tale sign of its freshness).
To do this, grasp a branch lightly and tug the needles through your hand. If you end up with a handful of needles you can keep walking because that is a sign that the tree isn't fresh. You should have minimal needles in your hand.
Choosing a great Christmas tree be tough. Don't just grab the first tree you see on the lot, find the best tree for you.
Looking for suggestions?
Douglas Fir trees have been a popular choice since the beginning of the century and are a great pick. These beautiful trees are covered soft needles that are a shiny green hue. They have wonderful symmetry, making them. These trees are perfect for those who don't want an overwhelming piney smell. They exude a sweet, subtle aroma.
If you're big into ornaments and decorations and are set on a Douglas Fir, make sure that you choose one that has not been trimmed into a conical shape. Choosing one of these trees will make for decorating difficulties as they leave little space between branches. If the pickins' are slim, invest in ornaments that won't break easily as they are likely to fall off frequently.
When should get rid of those browned, dried-out pine trees? The proper time to take down a Christmas tree is a matter of personal preference. Many people take down their trees the day after Christmas while others let theirs stay up until New Years—sometimes beyond.
There really isn't a designated day on which you should remove a tree from your home but a good time to think about it is when that thing starts to dry out. A well-cared-for Christmas tree should stay fresh well through the holiday season; some trees will last even longer than that while others will dry out well before.
Test the branches and needles to evaluate your own tree.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|