TreeHelp Home > Christmas Tree Care 
All About Christmas Tree Care
How to Buy a Christmas Tree
How to Care for a Christmas Tree
How to dispose of a Christmas Tree
green line

Gift ideas for Tree-lovers


How to Buy a Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree Seedlings

Seedlings grow in starter fields for 2 or more years
Image courtesy Christmas Tree Farmers of Ontario


Every year beginning in late fall, Christmas tree lots spring up in shopping mall parking lots, at home and garden centers and near local convenience stores.  Gas stations also get into the act.  Christmas trees are even available by mail order on the Internet.  While trees bought at these locations can be perfectly acceptable, an alternative worth considering, depending upon your location, is a tree farm.  Buying from a tree farm has a number of advantages.  The first is freshness.  When you see your tree being cut or you cut it yourself at a tree farm, you can be sure you are getting the freshest tree possible.  The second advantage is selection.  While most farms specialize in only one or two species of tree, the many different shapes and sizes available mean that trees are available to suit almost every taste.  Finally, a visit to a tree farm can be a real outing both for you and your family.  Many tree farms also have activities like wagon rides which turn buying a Christmas tree from a chore into an event.

If you do decide to purchase a Christmas tree from a commercial tree lot, the most important consideration is freshness.  Many Christmas trees are trucked a considerable distance, sometimes part way across the continent and days or even weeks may pass between the time the trees are cut and when they arrive for sale.  Always ask the vendor where the tree has come from and how long ago it was cut.  Buy a locally produced tree wherever possible.

Inspect your prospective purchase.  Does it appear green and healthy with a fragrant smell and moist flexible needles or is there evidence of drying or browning?  Avoid any trees with broken branches or damaged bark.  Bounce the tree lightly on its cut end if you can or shake it.  Does this result in an inevitable little sprinkling or does it produce a shower or needles?  If needles rain down, you might be wise to look around a little more.

The next consideration after freshness is size.  Make sure the tree you buy will fit comfortably in the room and location you have chosen.  Use a tape measure if necessary.  Check the bottom of the tree.  Is there enough space between the end and the lowest branches to make a slightly diagonal fresh cut?  Cutting an extra inch off the bottom before mounting your tree will greatly help water absorption and ensure your tree lasts as long as possible.  Be sure to make this final cut just before placing it in water.  If it is exposed to the air for too long, the vessels will become blocked. is brought to you by
Copyright 2000-2013