Picking The Right Christmas Tree For You

The holiday season affords buyers a plethora of channels for acquiring their Christmas tree. Live or cut? Buy from a wholesaler or chop down your own? Deciding early will help you get the best tree for your needs.

It's easy to overlook the important role Christmas trees have in defining the holiday season for the United States. Millions of families will put a tree in the window, whether an artificial one from the storage closet or a fresh one straight from a seller. But as Tom Atwell writes in the Portland Press Herald, there's more to buying a non-artificial tree than just picking one out from the local Home Depot parking lot. Many Americans have the option to optimize their tree purchase to suit a variety of ancillary needs. Choosing where you buy the tree can be just as much a tradition as the tree itself:

"Jay Cox has been selling Christmas trees for five years at The Old Farm Christmas Place in Cape Elizabeth [in Maine]. Buying a tree at a farm has several advantages, he said.

'It’s kind of an event,' Cox said. 'People go out in the field and they cut it down, so they are a little more involved. And it’s as fresh as you can get. If you cut the tree, take it home and get it in water right away, it’s going to last a long time.'


This year, Cox let customers pick their trees as early as Nov. 15. They hop on a wagon, ride through the rows of trees, select one they like and tag it. When Christmas nears and they’re ready to put up their tree, they return to either cut it down themselves or have Cox’s crew do it."

Obviously those of you in Las Vegas probably don't have as much opportunity to chop down your own tree as those in Maine, but if the option is open it may be a fun way to make tree selection a family affair. Atwell also writes about the benefits of buying trees from local charities rather than big companies, as the money spent will be cycled back through the community. 

Another option for tree buyers is to choose between living and cut trees. Living trees can be replanted outside. Cut trees stay indoors and then get disposed of. For any cut tree, three weeks should be the longest you keep it indoors. After that, Atwell explains, the pine needles dry out, fall off, and create a fire hazard.

Read more at Portland Press Herald for all your Christmas tree needs.

Photo credit: Andrey_Kuzmin / Shutterstock

Related Articles

Scientists discover what caused the worst mass extinction ever

How a cataclysm worse than what killed the dinosaurs destroyed 90 percent of all life on Earth.

Credit: Ron Miller
Surprising Science

While the demise of the dinosaurs gets more attention as far as mass extinctions go, an even more disastrous event called "the Great Dying” or the “End-Permian Extinction” happened on Earth prior to that. Now scientists discovered how this cataclysm, which took place about 250 million years ago, managed to kill off more than 90 percent of all life on the planet.

Keep reading Show less

Why we're so self-critical of ourselves after meeting someone new

A new study discovers the “liking gap” — the difference between how we view others we’re meeting for the first time, and the way we think they’re seeing us.

New acquaintances probably like you more than you think. (Photo by Simone Joyner/Getty Images)
Surprising Science

We tend to be defensive socially. When we meet new people, we’re often concerned with how we’re coming off. Our anxiety causes us to be so concerned with the impression we’re creating that we fail to notice that the same is true of the other person as well. A new study led by Erica J. Boothby, published on September 5 in Psychological Science, reveals how people tend to like us more in first encounters than we’d ever suspect.

Keep reading Show less

NASA launches ICESat-2 into orbit to track ice changes in Antarctica and Greenland

Using advanced laser technology, scientists at NASA will track global changes in ice with greater accuracy.

Firing three pairs of laser beams 10,000 times per second, the ICESat-2 satellite will measure how long it takes for faint reflections to bounce back from ground and sea ice, allowing scientists to measure the thickness, elevation and extent of global ice

Leaving from Vandenberg Air Force base in California this coming Saturday, at 8:46 a.m. ET, the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 — or, the "ICESat-2" — is perched atop a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket, and when it assumes its orbit, it will study ice layers at Earth's poles, using its only payload, the Advance Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS).

Keep reading Show less