Before you go tree shopping, know the size tree your home will accommodate. Measure both the width and height of the space in which you want to place your tree. You'll want to choose a tree that is at least one foot shorter than the ceiling height (take a tape measure with you). Also, measure your tree stand to determine the maximum diameter of the tree trunk you can use in it.
Be sure your about to purchase a freshly cut tree. The needles should look shiny and green, not dry or brown. They To test if it is, give a branch of the tree a gentle shake. If few needles fall of it’s a good sign and you can safely assume its fresh. Make sure the base of the tree is straight and at least six inches long, so it will fit easily into the tree stand.
Deciding what kind of tree you’ll buy is a matter of personal preference. Most people, however, agree that the following five Christmas-tree varieties have the best shape and stay fresh the longest: balsam fir, Douglas fir, Fraser fir, noble fir and Scotch pine. Remember, trees with short needles are generally easier to decorate than those with longer needles. Also tree with a little space between the branches will allow longer ornaments space to hang.
If possible lay the tree inside your car or trunk for the drive home. This will be difficult unless you have a large van or truck. If you drive with the tree on the roof of your car, be sure its securely tied. Also, wrapping the tree in a tarp of blanket will prevent wind damage such as needle loss and drying out.
Here's how to maintain your tree's fragrance and prevent mass needle fallout:
Before placing the tree in its spot, make a fresh, straight cut at the base of the trunk of the tree, this will allow the tree to intake as much water a possible. Water frequently, cut trees draw several quarts of water each day. Never allow the water level to fall below the base of the tree or the cut end may seal over, preventing further water intake. Keeping a Christmas tree well water will help Use a tree stand which holds about 1 gallon of water.
When deciding where to place your tree be sure to pick at spot that is away from heaters, radiators or fireplaces as they will begin to dry out the tree prematurely. To avoid any tripping place your tree out of the way of traffic.
Hang all ornaments that are breakable, have small, detachable parts or metal hooks, or that look like food or candy on higher branches where small children can't reach them.
Keep pets out of the room in which the tree is placed. Cats will often leap onto Christmas trees and potentially tip it over. To keep the tree from tipping over try tying it to a ceiling hook. Both cats and dogs can knock down and break glass ornaments, then cut themselves on the pieces.
Turn off tree lights when you go to bed or leave the house and use only UL-approved electrical decorations and extension cords. Test your lights each year and make sure that the cords are not frayed.
Never burn Christmas-tree branches in your fireplace. It can cause the buildup of creosote, a highly flammable compound.