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Finding The Perfect Christmas Tree

By: Sandra Nelson


I have been buying Christmas trees for 45 years. You would think after that much time, I would have the Christmas tree thing down. Unfortunately, you would be wrong. Every year I wander around the lot being thoroughly confused and overwhelmed by all the choices. What kind of tree should we get? Which is best for our family? I never know which one to buy because I just don’t know enough to make a good decision, so I wind up with essentially the same tree every year. At the end of the season while I’m sweeping up all the fallen needles (and screaming each time one embeds itself in my foot), I declare that next year I will buy an artificial tree and be done with this.


Like so many families, Thanksgiving weekend will find me once again wandering around the tree lot looking for the perfect tree. This year will be different however! This year I am arming myself in advance with all the information I could find about not only the trees themselves, but also what characteristics are important to consider when picking out the perfect tree. After my research, I’m feeling confident that year 46 will finally be the year I buy exactly the right tree. Hopefully, my research can help you find your perfect tree too.


Before you head out to buy the tree, take a few minutes to consider which of these characteristics are most important to you. It will make the final decision so much easier.



Some trees have a wide base which gives a pyramidal shape, while others are more narrow with a columnar profile. Which type will best fit your allotted space?



Branches that are widely spaced give a tree an open, airy form that is perfect for giving glimpses of ornaments hidden deep in the tree. Tightly spaced branches create a solid, defined look that puts lights and decorations in the forefront. What is your decorating style?



Straight, sturdy branches are ideal for safely displaying multitudes of precious decorations, while flexible branches are better for a few light-weight ornaments. Branches that curve upward at their ends keep ornaments and lights from sliding off, especially as the season progresses and the tree dries out. What kind of decorations do you display?



From a traditional dark green to a true blue, Christmas trees can be found in just about every shade in between. What color says Christmas to you?



The scent of evergreen filling the room can be the highlight of the holiday season, or it can be the beginning of a miserable bout of non-stop sneezing and congestion. How important is fragrance to you?


Needle Retention

Needles constantly hitting the floor can be problematic in homes with small children and pets, especially if the tree is one of the varieties with hard, pointy needles. Some types of Christmas trees simply have poor needle retention; some have excellent. How much needle drop can you tolerate?


With your preferred characteristics in mind, it’s time to find the perfect tree!

Before you head out, look for our next blog, Finding Your Perfect Christmas Tree, where we highlight some of the best  --  and most unusual  --  trees on the market today.