41. Selection of Christmas Trees
Given the many types of Christmas trees available and the various ways in which they can be bought, it's important to know certain qualities that a Christmas tree should have so that it will be suitable for decorating and will also last through the season. One of the most important qualities a Christmas tree should have is freshness. This makes buying a tree from a Christmas Tree Farm the best option because you will observe the tree being cut at the time it is purchased. If a tree is bought elsewhere, such as from a retail lot, it is important to find out where the tree came from and when it was cut. To determine the freshness of a tree, observe whether it looks green and healthy, has a fragrant scent and has needles that are moist and flexible. If the needles appear dry or show browning, then that is a sign the tree isn't very fresh.
If a large amount of green needles fall when a few branches of the tree are shaken, that's also a sign that the tree isn't the best one to buy to last for the entire season. The needles of fir trees should break crisply when they are bent. If a fir tree needle is bent and doesn't break readily with pressure, it might mean that the tree isn't absorbing water and that will affect its longevity. Another reason a Christmas tree farm can be a better option for purchasing a Christmas tree is that it will be more likely to offer more species of trees and therefore a wider variety of shapes and sizes. For those Christmas trees that are located on retail or other commercial lots, freshness can be determined by looking at the conditions in which the trees are kept.
Observe whether the trees are kept in stands that hold water, if baled trees are protected from the wind and sun, if a fresh cut is put on trees and if the trees are tied down correctly. Another quality to consider in selecting the right Christmas tree is its size. Before buying a tree, its important to decide where it will be placed so that the space can be measured. You will need to do a floor to ceiling measurement and then subtract at least 10-12 inches to get the maximum height for the Christmas tree. It is recommended that at least 10-12 inches of space should be between the top of the Christmas tree and the ceiling. The bottom of the Christmas tree also needs to be checked to make sure there is adequate space between the end of it and the lowest branches. A small diagonal fresh cut, such as an inch, is made in that area to enhance absorption of water, which will make the tree last longer. This cut should be made just before the tree is placed in water. If a fresh cut is done and the tree is exposed to the air too long, the vessels can become blocked. Along with freshness and size, a tree should be selected based on the shape that you like, the smell of the needles and bark and on how dense and sturdy the branches are.
For the density and sturdiness of the tree, you need to have an idea how the tree will be decorated - how many heavy ornaments, Christmas lights or bows will be used. As an example, a fir tree that has sturdy branches will be better for holding heavy ornaments and a pine tree is good for Christmas trees that have light decorations such as bows and a string of Christmas lights. The texture of the branches and how durable or long-lasting the tree will be are also worth considering in choosing a perfect Christmas tree.
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