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Oh, Christmas Tree! Which is the right one for me?

December 5th, 2013

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It’s the first week of December, which means it’s time to start thinking about Christmas trees and other holiday decorations. For some people decorating is the best part of the holidays, but others greet Christmas decorating with a combination of dread and nausea.

Picking the right Christmas tree type, for example, has become a trial in and of itself. It seems like everyone in your family wants something different from your tree. Your kids want a big tree that they can hang all their ornaments and tinsel on, while you and your spouse want something small that isn’t messy.

Lucky for you, finding the right tree isn’t complete guesswork anymore. Here are a few tips on selecting the right tree for your home, and also some tips on what to do after the holiday season comes to an end.

Scotch Pine
This is the most popular Christmas tree in the US. It has the classic shape you associate with Christmas trees, and since it is a pine tree so it doesn’t shed its needles as much as other kinds of evergreen trees. If you’re thinking of replanting your tree – which is becoming increasingly popular – the Scotch Pine is able to grow in many different climates.

Virginia Pine 
The Virginia Pine is aptly named, as it is a great tree choice for Southerners. It is one of the few evergreens adapted to living in warm climates and also retains its needles well.

Fraser Fir
The Fraser Fir is a unique tree, due mainly to its needles. They are a dark green on top and a gray-silver white on the bottom. The color variations make the Fraser Fir a popular tree for those that like to go all out on tree decoration. It also has a strong aroma that helps add to the Christmas ambience. In terms of growing, Fraser Firs are for cold climates only.

White Spruce 
If you have an ornament-crazy family, the White Spruce is a great choice. The White Spruce has the right kind of needles and branches that allow for a lot of Christmas tree decorations. The main drawback to the White Spruce is the unpleasant odor that its needles give off when they are crushed. That means you will need to be vigilant in cleaning up any fallen needles.

Maintaining your Christmas tree once it is up is important and shouldn’t be ignored. If a tree isn’t watered properly, it starts to drop its needles and some trees produce a pungent odor that isn’t appealing. Here are some tips to making sure your tree will survive indoors.

  • Cut off the bottom branches that prevent the tree from sliding into the base easily.
  • Cut off the bottom inch of the trunk. That will remove the sap that has leaked out and covered the stump. If you don’t do this, it will be difficult for the tree to get enough water.
  • Slide the tree into the stand and screw it in so it is stable. Make sure you get help with this. Nobody wants a broken window or sap on his or her sofa because the tree tipped over.

After the Holidays
There are numerous options for disposing of your Christmas tree.  Here are a few:

  • Plant it! Depending on the type of tree you have and where you live, replanting your tree outside is a viable option. If you want to replant your tree, it is essential that you provide enough water for it while it’s inside your home, and that you protect it from high winds and cold once you replant it outside. Make sure you ask for a tree that is balled-and-burlapped, which means its roots are still intact and are wrapped in a burlap bag.
  • A protective layer for your garden. If you have a raised bed garden filled with fragile plants you want to protect from the cold, trim the branches off your Christmas tree and lay them over your garden. Yes, you still have the trunk to contend with, but there are other ways to deal with the trunk.
  • Mulch it! Do some research and find out where you can take your tree to recycle it. Many places will grind trees into mulch that you can pick up. Every city is different, so make sure what your city offers and ways you can go about it.
  • Sink it! If you have the means – and the permission – sinking your tree in a lake can provide a habitat for fish and other aquatic creatures. Just make sure that your tree is stripped bare of all ornaments and decorations!

Do you have a type of Christmas tree that you prefer? What do you do with your tree after the holiday season?

 

About the Author:

Humble Seed welcomes guest bloggers. This great content was written by Chris Long. Chris has been working as an associate in various departments at The Home Depot for over 10 years. He is a regular contributor to the company blogs and likes to give advice on a plethora of topics ranging from lawn care to Holiday décor and live Christmas trees too.

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