It’s less than 20 days to Christmas! If you’re like us and still haven’t bought or decorated your tree yet, here are 5 tips for selecting and keeping the perfect real Christmas tree for your DC Ranch home:
1. Where is the tree going to be placed? Before deciding on the size of the tree be sure you select a space away from sources of heat (heating ducts or direct sunlight). The more heat the tree is exposed to the faster it will dry out.
2. What size and shape do you need? Now that you know the space you can figure out the size and decide whether your tree has to be ‘perfect’ on all four sides, or not. The height formula is simple:
Room Height = 12 feet
– Tree topper (typically 1 foot)
– Height added by tree stand (typically 0.5 feet)
– Height of base under stand (typically 0.5 feet)
+ Bottom of tree removed (typically 0.5 feet)
Height of tree to buy = 10.5 feet
The shape of the tree comes down to your personal preference and the size of the room. It’s smart to discuss as a family before going out on your tree hunt so you have a common understanding of priorities.
3. What type of tree do you want or need? Decide in advance what type of tree you are looking for. Some families base the decision on tradition and others think about branch and needle type, scent, color, how long it lasts, etc.
There are 3 primary types of evergreens harvested for Christmas: Firs, Pine and Spruce. Within those 3 types are several sub-varieties: Douglas Fir, Balsam Fir, Fraser Fir, Scotch Pine, White Pine, White Spruce, Norway Spruce, Blue Spruce.
In ranking trees on the categories of needles holding with water, needles holding without water, firmness of branches, fragrance, needle softness and cost, the Scotch Pine and Frasier Fir top the charts.
4. How fresh is this tree? If your family is going to a tree farm to cut your own tree, freshness is clear. In our neck of the woods though, chances are your family is buying pre-cut tree.
To assess freshness:
- smell the tree – the fragrance should be strong
- there should be no browning or fading
- the needles adhere to the branch when you run your fingers down it
- bend the needles. If they flex, you’re set. If some break, find a different tree
5. How do you keep the tree fresh? If you’re not putting the tree up immediately keep the tree out of sunlight. Experts agree that cut trees should be kept out of sunlight and in water. There is debate about water temperature and additives.
Most experts recommend making a fresh cut in the base of the trunk when you get the tree home and putting the tree in a large bucket of hot water with a few tablespoons of sugar for a few days.
Trunk cuts should be perpendicular to the trunk’s axis. Angular and v-shaped cuts limit the trees ability to take up water.
Once inside and in the stand, everyone agrees that keeping the base of the trunk covered with water is critical to keeping the tree fresh and safe.
Handy information and ideas:
- Fresh Christmas trees generally consume 1 gallon of water on the day the tree is cut (or at the time of a fresh-cut) and then approximately 1/2 gallon every day after. If the trunk is out of water for more than 4-6 hours typically sap will accumulate on the base of the trunk and reduce the tree’s ability to take in water, thus drying it out.
- Before setting your tree up in the stand, put a plastic garbage bag (or purchase a special tree bag) around the base of the trunk. You can cover the bag with your tree skirt. When it is time to take the tree down you slip the bag over the tree and dramatically reduce needle clean-up
- Don’t vacuum up needles: sap will get into your vacuum cleaner
- Nearby shops carrying pre-cut Christmas Trees
- Home Depot
- Moon Valley Nurseries
- Fairmont Scottsdale Princess’ Christmas Festival (and they’ll deliver free!)
- Check out places to cut your own fresh tree in Arizona
We are your go-to resource for DC Ranch information, events and real estate. Visit our Blog to keep up-to-date on the latest DC Ranch news.
Considering DC Ranch homes for sale? Have a DC Ranch home to sell? Reach out to me to schedule an appointment at 480-360-0281 or fill out the form below.
From everyone at The Matheson Team, have a safe and wonderful holiday season! We’re off to put our tree up.
Realtor | Founder
The Matheson Team – RE/MAX Fine Properties
21000 N. Pima Rd., #100, Scottsdale, AZ 85255