A guide to buying a Christmas tree and keeping it looking good over the holiday period.
There is nothing like the nostalgic scent of a real Christmas tree but with so many types and varieties, finding your perfect Christmas tree can be a challenge.
We have listed the most popular varieties available and our top tips on keeping them fresh over Christmas.
• Nordmann Fir
This year’s top choice of Christmas tree with excellent needle retention and strong branches with lush, glossy, rich green needles are soft and dense making it easy to decorate and support the lights and decorations to create a stunning display.
• Fraser Fir
Often sold with fir cones still attached, this tree has dark green foliage and a gorgeous citrus scent. Compact and upright in nature, this is a great choice for smaller rooms but as with other firs, it must be kept well watered to help retain the needles.
• Noble Fir
With soft green-blue needles, this neat and compact tree has a heavenly fragrance and excellent needle retention, making this beautiful tree is a perfect choice for a festive home.
• Scots Pine
A superb choice for needle retention, the Scots pine with it’s twisted green/blue needles will fill any room with a pine perfume throughout the festive season.
• Norway Spruce
This ‘traditional’ Christmas tree has unfortunately gone out of fashion due to its sharp needles and tendency for needle drop, especially in centrally heated rooms. A lovely tree nevertheless with strong branches and easy to decorate.
• Blue Spruce
Blue-grey in colour, this tree has a rich festive scent combined with great needle retention. This is a strong tree; often with a wide base, is a perfect place to place the presents under.
With potted and pot grown varieties also available, there is a large variety of choice.
• If this is the first time buying a real tree, you should consider family members who suffer from allergies. Trees grow in damp conditions so they can be a perfect place for mould spores to grow which can cause respiratory problems known as (Christmas Tree Syndrome)
• Choose and measure the space you want to erect your tree in before leaving the house. (Remember that a tree stand can add 15cm to the height)
• Decide on the variety as they differ with shape, size colour, scent and needle retention
• Take a pair of gloves as transporting the tree can be a bit prickly
• Remember the size of your car!
Choosing your tree
• Look for a tree that has been freshly cut and has bright shiny needles
• Gently shake the branches to check on the flexibility and how much needle drop there is
• Do not buy a tree that has been stored netted as heat builds up inside and causes needle drop
• Check if the base has been cut straight and had it’s knobbly bits removed to make it easier to sit in the base
Caring for your tree
• Leave your tree outside until ready to decorate
• To avoid Christmas Tree Syndrome wash down the tree before bringing it in
• Make a fresh cut in the base to allow for water absorption and prevent needle drop
• Avoid positioning next to a heat source or in direct sunlight
• Stand your tree in a water holding tree stand and top up 2x a day
If you don’t believe in cutting down trees, or are worried about its irregular shape, possible allergies, carbon footprint to the environment, the mess caused by shedding of needles, topping it up with water 2x per day, the cost as it can only be used once or how to dispose of it, then opt for an artificial tree, they too come in all shapes and sizes.