Thursday 7 December 2017

How to choose and care for a real Christmas tree

How to choose care for a real Christmas tree
Not many of us will have the room to have such an enormous Christmas tree but the popularity of a real Christmas tree remains. If you want to make the most of your Christmas tree follow our tips to make of your festive focal point.

Cut or potted?

Cut trees can be cheaper as they don't need the extra expense of the pot and soil. Being cut they will only last for the Christmas period. A potted tree with the root ball intact can be planted in the garden afterwards. Next year you can either decorate it outside or dig it up to use again. A potted tree is still living so the needle drop won't be as bad as with a cut tree.

When to buy

If you want a cut tree to look at its best they usually last around three to four weeks. If you like to get your tree early then by Boxing Day it could be coming down. If you like to keep your tree up for New Year and through to Twelfth Night then it will be best to wait until two weeks before Christmas Day to buy your tree.


The scent, texture and needle drop of a Christmas tree will differ according to the variety. The two most popular varieties are Norway Spruce and Nordmann Fir. Norway Spruces are spikier and generally cheaper but they are more prone to needle drop. Nordmann Fir have a more luxurious texture and the needles are good at staying on the tree. Other varieties that hold their needles well are Noble Firs and Fraser Firs. They both have lovely scents with the Fraser Fir being especially good for small spaces.

Size and shape

Don't forget to measure the space you intend to put your tree in. You will need to factor in a stand plus any tree topper you want to put on. It's also best to pick a tree which isn't already netted up. This way you can check the width and layout of the tree plus check if it has any missing or damaged branches. A netted tree can also create its own micro-climate which can change the colour of the needles and cause premature needle drop.

Caring for your tree

If you have bought a cut tree saw a few inches off and stand it in a bucket of water for as long as possible. This will help prolong its life.

Don't bring it in until you are ready to decorate it.

Don't place it near a heat source such as a radiator or wood burner. It will dry out too quickly – Christmas trees aren't designed to be inside warm houses.

Water well – a cut tree will need at least 1-2 litres of water a day so make sure you have a stand with a water well in it. A potted tree won't need some much watering. In fact over watering could cause it to die of 'trench foot'. Check the soil every day to see if it needs water.

After Christmas

Some councils have free collections for cut Christmas trees. Check their website for details. Others may charge but should be happy to accept trees at the local household recycling centre.

If you have a wood chipper you could use that to provide yourself with some free bark for your garden.

For potted trees either move outside in its container or pick a spot to plant it in. Bare in mind fir trees can grow quite tall with extensive root systems so plant well away from houses and buildings.

Do you have a real Christmas tree? How do you pick and care for it?

1 comment:

  1. We have only bought two trees in the last 12 years. Both have been pot-rooted and have just grown a bit bigger each year in their (re-potted) pots until they were too big to bring in. When the first one was too big, we planted it in the garden. The second one is growing well and should last us about 3 more years! we did well!!!!! x


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