Each time the holiday season rolls around, people begin to think about picking out a Christmas tree that they’ll carry home and decorate with their collection of ornaments. Most people usually head out to find a tree right around the time Thanksgiving rolls around, but you don’t have to wait that long.

You can get a tree before Thanksgiving and still keep it fresh and looking healthy and green through Christmas. You don’t really want to put off buying a Christmas tree because all of the best ones go pretty fast. You can buy your tree from a lot and have a wide selection to choose from or you can shop at a Christmas tree farm.

At the lot, you can tell which trees are healthy and fresh by the amount of needles that fall from the tree when it’s handled. A few needles coming off is to be expected, but if you pick the tree up and it loses needles as fast as a hard rain can fall, it’s not a good tree.

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You want the needles to be pliant and have a nice, fresh scent to them. If you choose to go pick up a tree at a Christmas tree farm, you can pick out your tree and even cut it down yourself. Often, the prices of a tree at a Christmas tree farm is less expensive than buying one from the lot – plus you can turn the event into a family outing.

Once you decide where you’re going to buy your tree, then you need to know the best kind of tree you should purchase. There are several top choice trees to choose from, but you want to make sure you get the one that suits your decorating needs.

In the Fir family, there’s the White Fir. If you want to get a tree before Thanksgiving, this is a good choice. The needles last longer and the tree has a good scent. Also in the Fir family is the Fraser Fir and decorating this tree is a breeze because the branches are not overly crowded.

That’s one thing you have to look for when picking up a tree. You don’t want one where the branches are crowded in too closely. It’ll be too hard to get your hands in among the branches to hang your ornaments and other decorations.

Another lovely scented tree in the Fir group is the Balsam Fir and it’s one that many people recognize due to the strong, fresh scent. There’s also the Grand Fir, but this is a tree better chosen for ornaments that are lighter. The Noble Fir is good for decorating and is quite sturdy.

In the Spruce tree family, the Colorado Blue Spruce is considered a good choice for heavy or light ornaments. The Norway Spruce, however, has easily dropped needles – so don’t purchase this one too far in advance.

The Eastern White Pine has easily bendable branches and with proper care, has a long life. The Scotch Pine has very sharp needles, but doesn’t shed easily, so if you don’t want to vacuum up needles, this one is a good pick.

Whichever Christmas tree you choose, when you get it home, be sure to cut off a small part of the base (about a quarter inch). Never let the water level of the tree get too low. This can cause your tree to dry out and lose needles.

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