Choosing a Real Christmas Tree
There's no substitution for a real Christmas tree. Artificial ones may be gaining in popularity, but how many family memories are really created by dragging a dusty fake tree down from the attic or out of the corner of the garage?
To make your real tree experience the best ever, no matter what kind of tree you select or where you live, these indispensable rules apply to all.
Know Your Maximum Size
Plan before you purchase your tree.
To calculate your maximum tree size, measure the height of your ceiling and then subtract 1 foot. This will allow ample room for a topper. Keep girth in mind, too: the smaller the room, the skinnier the tree should be - -unless of course there's very little furniture. Then a full tree is actually a welcome addition.
Check for Freshness
Nothing kills the holiday mood quite like a tree with no needles. Run your fingers down a branch before you buy. All needles should stay intact, and your hand should smell like evergreen. Gentle shaking should also result in very little needle drop. If not, keep looking.
Re-cut the Trunk
Once home re-cut the trunk about 1/4 inch above the end to aid in water absorption. (If you don't have a saw, most places will do this for you.) Place your tree in the stand with water within an hour, or the pores will seal.
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