Real or Fake? How To Select and Enjoy Your Xmas Tree
Dawn Bryan, author of "The Art and Etiquette of Gift Giving," and founder of Qualipedia, weighs in and gives tips on selecting a Christmas tree and how to properly care for it.
Fresh Cut Trees
Do you love the smell of fresh pine? Do you have limited space and no area to keep an artificial tree during the year? Are you non-allergic to pine needles? If you answered yes to any of these questions, a real tree is the way to go.
How to Select a Cut Tree:
1. Check the condition of the needles by bending it gently between your thumb and forefinger. The fresh needle should bend easily, and not break.
2. Pull your hand toward you along the branch. Needles should adhere to the branch and not fall off in your hand.
3. Lift the tree a few inches off the ground, then drop it on stump end. If tons of needles fall off, it is probably not fresh.
Tip: Cut a half-inch off the base of the trunk before immediately placing it into water. Spray your tree with room temperature water to keep it smelling (and looking) fresh.
Are you tired of decorating and want a pre-lit tree with ornaments, and fiber optics already in place? Are you tired of cleaning pine needles months after the holidays? Maybe a fake tree is best for you.
How to Select an Artificial Tree:
1. If you are looking for the most realistic looking tree, purchase one with PE needles (rather than PVC), a center pole, and individual stick branch attachments.
2. For quality, look at the branch ends. Well-crafted trees use heavier gauge metal and have sculpted (not snipped-off) ends.
3. If you’re looking for a tree that’s easy to assemble, choose one with PE needles, a center pole, hinged branch attachments and pre-strung lights.
Tip: Store the tree in a carrying case, not the cardboard box it comes in. Cardboard boxes can get damp and disintegrate, eventually causing the tree to become dusty.