Confused about how to choose the best Christmas tree for your family? The experts at Better Homes and Gardens can help! With these tips for choosing the optimal real Christmas tree and keeping it looking good as long as possible, you'll have the best Christmas tree on the block.
Know what you want. Each tree species is a little different, so to find the best Christmas tree for your family, you need to match it to the needs and wants of your household. For example, if you have children, you might lean toward pines or firs with soft needles instead of spruce trees, which have sharp needles that can hurt when you step on them.
Check the tree's freshness. Bend a needle in half with your fingers; fresh firs should snap, while fresh pines bend and should not break.
Make sure the needles are secure. To find the best Christmas tree that will last the longest, gently grab the inside of a branch and pull your hand toward you. The needles should stay on the tree. Alternatively, gently tap the cut end of a tree on the ground; if a few needles fall off, it should be fine. If lots of needles fall off, keep searching for a different tree.
Look for a tree with even coloration. Some types of Christmas trees will go from deep, rich green to a dull gray-green if they get too dried out.
Freshen the trunk. Once you get the Christmas tree home, cut off about a half inch from the bottom of the tree's trunk (or ask the Christmas tree lot to do this for you). The fresh cut will absorb more water, so your tree holds its needles and keeps its color longer. Put the tree in water as quickly as you can after making the cut.
Measure, measure, measure. There's nothing worse than picking out the best Christmas tree on the lot, getting it home, and finding out it's too tall for your room. Before you leave home, measure both your ceiling height and the height of your Christmas tree stand so you don't have to recut the tree when you get home.
Keep your tree cool. As tempting as it may be to place the tree next to a fireplace, know that heat sources -- including a heating vent -- will cause your tree to dry out faster.
Maintain your tree's moisture. To keep your Christmas tree looking perfect, keep the water in your tree stand filled all the time. You may need to add water two or even three times the first few days.