Tips for Selecting and Taking Care of a Live Christmas Tree

Live Christmas trees have always intimidated me because I don’t do well with taking care of plants and I’ve always been paranoid that my Christmas tree could catch on fire.

I asked Jeff Ruggles from Dirr Nurseries for tips for picking out and taking care of a real Christmas Tree. These tips will give you more peace of mind when it comes to selecting your live tree.

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What should you look for when picking out the perfect Christmas Tree?

We formerly operated a cut-your-own Christmas tree farm where all the trees were guaranteed fresh because you cut them yourself.

If going to a lot a rule of thumb is the heavier the tree, the better.

A heavier tree means that it retained more water and therefore wasn’t cut weeks, maybe months ahead of time.

Tips for Selecting and Taking Care of a Real Christmas Tree

How do you evaluate what type of tree is best for you?

It’s really a matter of preference.

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Scotch Pine Tree

Scotch Pine has strong, thick branches and they are great for heavy ornaments.

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White Pine Tree

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The White Pine has softer needles and branches and works better for light ornaments.

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Canaan Fir

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The Fir species are kind of in the middle but have a very nice distinct aroma.

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Balsam Fir

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How long does a typical live Christmas tree last?

A cut Christmas tree can last around 2 months indoors with proper care. Water is essential to the health of the tree and needle retention.

We also sell a tree preservative called Forest Fresh, which you add to the water and does a tremendous job of keeping your tree healthy.

pine Christmas Tree

What type of Christmas tree is the best value?

All our trees are the same price regardless of height, size, or species so the value is a matter of what our customers prefer. We sold a lot of Pine.

How to pick a live Christmas tree

What can you do to make your tree last longer?

There are many tree preservatives for sale out there. We have had great success with ample water and Forest Fresh tree preservatives.

live Christmas Tree

What mistakes do people often make when taking care of their live Christmas tree?

A lot of people put their tree up and fill the stand with water and never remember to refill it.

Consider water as the life source of the Christmas tree; it should never run out.

Christmas tree stand

Is there a certain water line that your stand should be kept at and how often should you check the water?

You can not overwater the tree. Just check the water every day or every other day and fill up the stand.

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What advice would you give to someone who has resisted buying a real tree because they are afraid that it will catch on fire?

Don’t leave the lights on at night. The heat from the lights running overnight might dry the tree out. And did I mention to keep the tree watered?

A well-watered tree will not catch fire.

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What are some tips to make Christmas tree cleanup easier after the holidays?

We sell Christmas tree disposal bags that go under the tree skirt. Once the holidays are over you simply slide the bag up around the tree and throw it away. It saves a lot of mess.

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What tips do you have for disposing of your Christmas Tree?

There are a few companies out there that will come pick up Christmas trees after the holiday is over. Or you can always let it season and use it for firewood.

How to pick a live Christmas tree

Thanks again to Jeff from Dirr Nurseries for the great tips. I hope that this helps you pick out the best tree for your family.

3 thoughts on “Tips for Selecting and Taking Care of a Live Christmas Tree”

  1. Great tips. And one more to help your tree stay fresh longer — do NOT add any commercial additives to the water. The best water for your tree is plain old water. The National Christmas Tree Association warns that these producats can actually be detrimental to a tree’s moisture retention and increase needle loss.

    If your parents tell you to put an aspirin in the tree stand filled with water — DON’T do it! It was once thought that an aspirin in the water would keep the tree fresher longer, but that’s not the case, any more-so than the commercial additives on the market today.

  2. I’ve always wanted a real, authentic Christmas tree for my family. Although Christmas isn’t for many more months, I think it would be important to start planning how we would maintain the tree. I’m grateful that you’ve written this thoughtful, comprehensive article. I’ll be sure to follow some of your suggestions on how to choose and maintain your tree.

    Lily de Grey |

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