- Popular choices are spruce, pine or fir. Spruce trees tend to lose their needles first, while pine and fir trees shed more slowly.
- Lift the tree a few inches of the ground and let it fall. Gently grab the base of a branch and pull your hand toward you. The fresher the tree, the fewer needles will come off.
- Always cut a short piece off the base to make it easier for the tree to take up water. Cut it straight so it will stand up properly in the stand.
- Avoid whittling off bark at the base of the tree to make it fit the stand. The outer layers are most effective at absorbing water.
- As a general rule, stands should provide one quart of water per inch of stem diameter. Add water every day as necessary.
- Because nobody wants to deal with a Christmas catastrophe, check out the safety tips brought to you by the Ontario Association of Police Chiefs.
- Don’t put the tree near a heat source, and turn heat down while you’re away for the day.
- Recycle your tree through a municipal program, or toss the whole thing at the back of the garden, where it will provide winter refuge for birds. In the spring, chop it up for firewood to burn in a fire-pit or at a cottage.
Not able to have a real tree because of allergies? Click here for some lovely artificial options.
Feature pic courtesy of Forests Ontario.