There is something Rockwellian about selecting the perfect tree for the holiday season. Finding that full-branched tree with the perfect top can be a family adventure with the kids or a romantic outing for a couple. Either way it is the foundation for holiday memories.

“A Real Christmas tree is the traditional symbol for this season of giving, sharing, and family gatherings,” Tom Dull, a Christmas tree grower from Thorntown, Indiana and president of the National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA), said in a prepared statement. “Nothing says Christmas more than the fresh scent, feel and evergreen beauty of a real Christmas tree.”

Christmas treeThe National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA) recommends that people begin shopping for their real Christmas tree early this season. Most retailers open soon after Thanksgiving. Whether a consumer prefers to select a tree at a local choose and cut farm, or from a local garden center, retail lot or big box store, the earlier they shop, the greater selection they will find.

Before beginning the tree hunting adventure, go first to the NCTA website at http://www.realchristmastrees.org for tips to save time and ensure success at. On the website, learn about the different tree varieties and discover how to test the trees for freshness. Be sure to have measured the space the tree will occupy and take the tape measure along (trees always look shorter outside!), said Doug Hundley of the NCTA. Be sure to have the right size tree stand.

To ensure a Christmas tree stays fresh, insist on a fresh cut before leaving the retail location. After returning home, place the tree in water. If there is not time to place the tree in the tree stand within a couple of hours, put the Christmas tree in a bucket of water, until time is available.

The ability of a Christmas tree to take up water begins to diminish two to four hours following the last fresh cut. Real Christmas trees will stay fresh and moist as long as this fresh cut remains submerged in water. Plan to add water daily throughout the holiday season. A funnel type watering product makes the daily chore easy and is quite inexpensive. The NCTA recommends placing the tree away from direct heat sources such as HVAC vents and fireplaces.

For a list of nearby places in California where you can choose a cut tree farm or a fresh pre-cut farm, click HERE.  

A real Christmas tree can be a living, breathing member of the family during the holiday season. Long after the Christmas gifts have been forgotten, the experience of selecting, bringing home and decorating the family tree will provide children with treasured memories for years to come.