How to pick the perfect Christmas tree

It’s the yearly challenge come December to find the perfect Christmas tree. The biggest problem is actually finding ‘the one’. Much easier said than done to find the tree that best suits your home. The one that will fit perfectly with your intended decoration and gives you a tree that will truly last the season before it becomes simply a bunch of twigs.

Here we break down the best way to find the Christmas tree for you.

Measure your space

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Like bringing anything into your home, don’t wing it when it comes to fitting something into your desired space.  Never cut corners, always head out to pick your tree with every possible measurement to hand. Start with floor to ceiling measurements allowing at least a foot when choosing your tree for the tree stand and topper. Width is also important taking into account the space you will have around your tree. Take into account how much the tree will open out once it’s through the door and out of it’s packaging. The final piece of information you will need is the maximum width of your stand to ensure your chosen tree does not have too wider trunk to fit it.

Also remember to make sure your chosen space is away from heat sources to avoid drying out your tree.

Know your budget

It’s easy to get carried away the first time you head out for a real tree, especially when you find ‘the one’. Smaller trees can be picked up for around £30 whereas taller and bigger trees can easily reach over £100. Trees that hold their needles for longer are also slightly more expensive.  An average tree of good quality should cost between £50-£60 so be savvy.

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Make sure you have the right kit

It may never have crossed your mind in all the excitement but it’s good practice to carry a tape measure, durable work gloves and warm clothing when shopping for your perfect Christmas tree.  The likelihood is that you will be spending a good amount of time outdoors and will need to protect your hands when loading and unloading your chosen tree.  Your tape measure is for reassurance when it comes to making sure your tree will fit when you get it home.

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Plan your transport

You may be fortunate and your tree may be delivered by the retailer but more often than not it is down to you to get your tree home.  Make sure it will fit inside or on top of your car and that you protect your car from scratching and denting.

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Where to buy

There are numerous places these days you can buy your Christmas Tree from Ikea to your local farm shop.  Choose the right place for you but do ask when the shipments of trees will be arriving.  This way you can go and pick your tree as soon as you can after the shipment arrives to ensure the trees freshness.  If you intend keeping your tree throughout the 12 days of Christmas purchase your tree in mid to late December.

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Getting the best and freshest tree

There are 3 ways to check the freshness of your chosen Christmas tree.  The first may sound a little crazy but pick the tree up and hold it about 4 inches off the ground.  Keeping the tree upright drop it to the ground to see how many needles fall.  The fewer needles the fresher the tree.

Secondly look for brown needles and keep in mind that some trees are artificially coloured so not all brown needles will be evident but are a sign of a lack of freshness.

Finally run your hands through the branches.  There should not be many if any needles come away and they should not be brittle or stiff.

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Make sure it’s straight

It seems obvious but look at the trunk to make sure there aren’t any bends.  Not only could this make the tree crooked but it may also prevent the tree standing upright and secure in the stand.

Debug it

As you’ll be putting the tree inside your car and finally your home the last thing you want is a tree full of dirt and bugs.  Ask the retailer to clean it, many will shake the tree to remove bugs, debris and anything else lurking inside the branches.

Trim it

Before putting your tree in the stand cut around an inch off the trunk to aid it absorbing water and staying fresh.  Finally place it in cold or warm water but never hot.

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Now your tree is chosen, transported and in your chosen position all that’s left to do is decorate it. If you’re worrying now where to start and want to get a designer finish to your tree, check out our blog on How to decorate your Christmas tree like a pro and get the John Lewis look in your home.

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