Buying a Real Christmas Tree

Whether it’s the natural scent or incredible look or that nostalgic feeling of childhood memories, we all know that there are wonderful benefits to getting a real Christmas tree.

If you’ve never bought a natural Christmas tree or this is your first year doing it on your own, the buying process might be intimidating. But have no fear! We created this guide to help you find the perfect tree to fill your home with the holiday spirit.

Let’s Get Started

Scope out the best spot in your home for “O Tannenbaum.” Make sure it’s not too close to a heat source, like a radiator or a window, since heat and sun tend to dry trees out more quickly. Also, measure your chosen spot, considering ceiling height and space width, so you can get an idea of what size tree will fit. Bring a measuring tape with you! Some places have measuring sticks, but it’s always good to be prepared.

Download and Print!

You can take all this information with you, or send our useful reference guide to someone who’s on the fence about a tree this year.

Download & Print!

Is Your Stand Still Standing?

Before you head out to your local retailer, take a gander at your tree stand, if you have one. Most retailers sell stands, so you can pick one up along with your tree if needed. There are many different kinds of stands if you’re interested in checking ‘em out. Is your stand still in good shape or does it need to be replaced? How wide is the opening? How much weight can it withstand? Does your stand have a post at the bottom? How much water can it hold – you want to have a quart of water per inch of trunk diameter.

Hot tip: If there is a post in your stand, visit a location that drills trees for pin stands – typically choose and cut farms and some seasonal lots will provide this service. Check in advance to be sure!

Time to Find ‘The One’

Looking for a holiday adventure to choose and cut your own tree? Or are you shorter on time, but still want to have a fun holiday outing? Some places have family-friendly activities, and some get right down to business. Your tree buying experience is up to you (but it might be dictated by your kids’ attention spans). Use our retail locator to help pinpoint a lot near you.

Checking It Twice

When you think you’ve found ‘the one,’ be sure to check the needle retention. Gently pull or run your hand down a branch. It should feel somewhat supple in your hand. If brown needles or a few green needles come off during this test, no worries. But if quite a few green needles come off, you may want to select a different tree.

Hot tip: If there is a tree shaker, ask to have your tree shaken! That will help get any brown needles shimmied off and it’s a whole lot of fun to shimmy along.

Gettin’ It On the Old Sleigh

If you aren’t cutting your own tree, ask if someone will cut about an inch off the bottom of the trunk. The fresh cut will allow the tree to immediately drink up water assuring the tree won’t go thirsty or dry out.

Some places will bale your tree for you, making it easier to secure to your car roof or truck bed. When you place your tree on your car roof, make sure the trunk is facing forward to protect the branches.

Once you get your tree home, get the trunk into water right away even if you aren’t putting it up just yet. Just like you, your tree needs plenty of water, so make sure you keep the stand full. Kids make really good water checkers, just sayin’. Also, remember that the branches will need some time to settle (especially if the tree was just unbaled), so give your tree a little breather before you start decorating.

Inhale, exhale. Smell that wonderful aroma?

Real Trees. Real Memories.

Finally, don’t forget to have fun!! This truly is the most wonderful time of the year. And the ‘getting the tree’ experience creates memories and traditions that your loved ones, and especially children, will cherish for years to come.

Two parents standing with their child at a tree farm