There are about a million acres of land devoted to growing Christmas trees in the United States -- each acre produces the daily oxygen requirements of 18 people. Therefore, the iconic foliage is as environmentally beneficial as it is beautiful. The freshest tree you can buy is one picked from a field and cut in front of you. Once it's been cut, shake the tree to remove any dead needles lodged in the foliage and branches.
If you are buying a tree at a retail lot, evaluate the tree's freshness by testing how firmly the needles are attached to the branches: Lightly grasp a branch and gently pull it through your hand, or bounce the tree on the bottom of its trunk against the ground several times -- if the tree is fresh, very few green needles should come off. The best Christmas trees in North America are known for their symmetry, needle retention, attractive foliage, and, in many cases, distinctive fragrances. In addition to lending seasonal spirit to your home, Christmas trees enliven the senses with a crisp, fresh aroma that recalls holidays past.
Learn More About Selecting The Perfect Tree
Purchase Your Tree
Before selecting a tree, plan your time frame and schedule accordingly before selecting the appropriate tree vendor.
Test Freshly Cut Trees
Your evergreen should be fresh when purchased, and a quick test will illuminate the health status of each plant.
Cutting the Stump
Cutting your Christmas tree stump is a delicate science, but several simple tips will ensure an even and clean cut.
Post-Purchase Tree Care
A freshly cut tree requires immediate hydration.
Watering Your Tree
Your Christmas tree's optimal water supply is based upon its height. Be sure to measure your tree to secure the best estimate of its moisture demands.
Pruning Your Tree
Even Christmas trees can benefit from pruning. Groom your tree to create a perfectly pruned shape.
Lighting Your Tree
Threading petite lights throughout the branches of your tree is perhaps one of the most revered rituals of the season, and lends a statuesque spruce further beauty.
Get the Christmas Tree 101 Tips
Once your tree is trimmed and illuminated, the joyful task of decorating can begin. The styling options for statuesque spruces are endless, as your tree can be customized to suit your home's holiday decor. Glamorous, gilded garlands and metallic ornaments suit a sophisticated aesthetic, while tiny toys transform a spruce into the ideal children's tree. Those with a sweet toothe can fashion their very own gingerbread cookie-outfitted tree with a recipe from Martha herself, and a delicate tabletop tinsel tree beautifully fills out a small space. Bestow upon your tree a festive frosted coating with the help of mica flakes and diamond dust, or give your gardening know-how a nod with DIY seed pack ornaments. If knitting is your seasonal specialty, a yarn-adorned tree may be your cup of tea. And spruce-owners seeking the simplest decor solution of them all can trim the tree in none other than cotton balls for a snowy Christmas.
See More Christmas Tree Decorating Ideas