How to Select and Care for Your Christmas Tree

Picking a fresh Christmas tree? Here's how to make it last.

Heading out to pick out a Christmas tree this weekend? Keep these tips in mind from John Dudzinsky, Town of Herndon Community Forester.

When purchasing a Christmas tree for the holidays, one major concern is the freshness of the tree.

A lot of folks have a tradition of going to a Christmas tree farm to cut their own tree. This tradition guarantees freshness. Others will go to a Christmas tree lot and purchase a pre-cut tree. Here is where you need to be careful.

Take your time selecting a tree. When you pull one out, shake the tree and see how many needles fall off. The tree should only loose a small amount of needles. Also check to see if the branches are flexible and do not break easily when you bend them.

Tree height and variety is a personal choice. The top selling trees are balsam fir, Douglas-fir, Fraser fir, Scotch pine, Virginia pine and White pine.

When you have selected a tree and have taken it home there are few tasks to do before taking it into the house. First you need to make a fresh cut about one quarter inch from the base of the tree and then place the tree in a bucket of water or into your tree stand.

The tree stand should hold about a gallon of water. A fresh tree will take up about three or more quarts of water per day at first. Be sure to check it regularly.

Fire safety is extremely important. Do not place the tree near any source of heat. Check your Christmas lights before decorating to be sure they are safe and in good working order. If you leave the house or go to bed, be sure to turn the lights off.

Some nearby places to purchase Christmas trees - in the parking lots of National Realty and Fox Mill Shopping Center, and at Meadows Farms Nursery at 10618 Leesburg Pike.


Diane Blust December 01, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Be sure to stop by Tysons Farms in the National Realty parking lot (Sunrise Valley and Reston Parkway) to check out their trees. Max Tyson is there every day - the very same Max Tyson who keeps your pantry stocked with fresh fruit and vegetables from spring into fall at Smart Markets Reston.


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