As the heavy snow receded, the Evergreen boughs snapped back into shape, flexing their malleable nature while the skeletal forms of the deciduous trees seemed altogether vulnerable as twigs and branches were strewn across the ground.   The Evergreens, now, seemed to stand more erect with great hubris and pride.  After all, Winter is their time to shine.

No other Holiday calls upon the majestic Evergreen like Christmas.  They are the centerpiece of the Holiday Home, a ubiquitous sign of the Season.

As you head out to choose that perfect tree, keep the following tips in mind for selecting and caring for your live Christmas tree:

  • First, decide upon a location for the tree, which should be away from heat sources, like vents, fireplaces and radiators.
  • Decide if the tree will be visible from all sides or placed against a wall.  This will help determine if you need a tree that looks good all around or just three sides.  Remember, the more “perfect” the tree, the more it will cost.
  • Measure the space in which you’d like to place the tree, and choose a tree that will safely fit.  This means taking the tape measurer with you, so you can accurately measure.
  • Look for fresh-cut trees, which will have flexible, green needles.  This usually means buying early.  Look for tree lots that keep their trees in shaded areas.  Ask when the trees were cut, and if newer shipments will be coming in.
  • Test the freshness of the tree by raising it off the ground and dropping it on its trunk.  Very few needles should drop.
  • Make sure the base or trunk of the tree is straight and 6-8″ long.  This will ensure it fits into your stand.
  • If heading out to a tree farm and cutting the tree yourself, follow the same tips above, but don’t be overly concerned if you see a fair amount of old, brown needles in and around the tree.  In Fall, Pines drop a portion of their oldest needles in preparation for Winter.  This is why when purchasing a tree from a farm, they often shake the tree before netting.
  • When you get home, you’ll need to make a 1/2″ fresh-cut from the base of the trunk.  This is important as it allows the tree to absorb water.  Fill the stand with cold tap water.  The tree will require a gallon or more of water in the first few days, and two or more pints per day thereafter.  Remember to check the water level daily and replenish as needed.  Never let the water level drop below the fresh-cut as resin will form, impeding water absorption.  Proper water levels and absorption will help prevent needle loss and sagging boughs.

Plant of the Week

Christmas Fern

Dark, leathery green fronds remain green year round.  Grows in a fountain-like clump.  Prefers partial to full shade and moist, well-drained soil.  Grows 18-24″ tall and 18-24″ wide.  Deer and rabbit resistant.  Provides winter interest.

“Freshly cut Christmas trees smelling of stars and snow and pine resin –

inhale deeply and fill your soul with wintry night.”

-John J. Geddes

Warm wishes,

Kim Sweeney