28 November 2022
There is nothing like the scent and ambiance of a non-artificial Christmas tree for the holidays. Choosing the best one in your budget can be easier if you keep some things in mind. If you read last week’s article, a couple of these items will sound familiar.
Those movie scenes where someone keeps directing the poor souls to move it from one room to another or opposite corners should be pure fiction. You need to predetermine the best spot. It should be located in an area where there will be sufficient space as the branches release, and definitely away from any heat source including a fireplace, radiators, vents, etc. Keep it away from high-traffic areas but near power outlets for the lights without an extension cord.
Measure the dimensions and write them down to go with you as you shop. For the height, be sure to include the amount of space you need for the topper so that it won’t scrape the ceiling with six inches as a good allowance.
Keep a dressmaker’s tape measure with you as you shop. For the base, the trunk should be able to fit into your stand and still allow room for it to be tightened.
Take gloves, strong gloves, since you will be muscling the tree to your vehicle and then into your abode. Include rope or solid twine so that you can secure it in place for travel. Many places will remove the bottom two inches or so of the trunk so that the tree will be ready for watering in the stand. Moving pads or old blankets are a good idea to protect the roof of the car or truck bed, plus extras to put on top of the tree. If you drive any distance, the icy winds can harm your tree that you have just paid for.
There are a number of different varieties of evergreen trees. Look for strong stems that will hold ornaments. Space between the branches means that your decorations will be easier to place and see and the ornaments will hang straight.
The needles should look shiny and green and stay put when you give the branch a slight tug. If there are brown spots or needles already coming off, look further.
You should already have your tree stand ready for action. Be sure there is a covering on the floor in case of a watering mishap. The stand should be sturdy and hold the tree securely. When the tree is in place, give it a nice drink of water and any preservative. You may need to refresh the water several times during the first few days and then monitor the water level daily. Using a watering can with a long spout is one of the easiest ways.
If the lower branches look off kilter or are brushing against furniture or the wall, remove them. Try to saw at an angle that runs parallel to the floor so the cuts are less obvious. Use the left over boughs for wreaths or other decorations.
Depending on the activity level of your children and pets, you may want to secure the tree with fishing line to small eye hooks in the wall or an incredibly solid piece of furniture. Be sure the lines are well above the reach of those kids or animals.
Sometime during December check with your local government or waste management company to see if your tree can be recycled for mulch and how you should arrange for that. Never burn your tree or branches since this could create a fire hazard.