The smells, sights and sounds of harvest time at a Christmas tree farm is a December treat not to be missed!
Harvesting your live Christmas tree can be a fun, memory-making holiday activity and fun for the whole family. Simply grab the kids and go to a local cut-your-own
farm. There are about 12,000 Christmas tree farms in the US alone, so finding one should within a 50-mile radius should be fairly easy.
Look for overall health
and rich color, along with
branches that are neither too
nor too sparse.
Hints for picking out the best Christmas tree
At a cut-your-own farm, you usually will have the option of cutting it yourself, for letting a hired hand do the actual chopping.
Before it's cut, just make sure that you've already carefully measured for room width, and the height of the ceiling where the tree will be displayed.
Also consider leaving extra room for a
traditional Christmas star or angel decoration to sit atop your tree.
Besides the perfect size, you'll want the perfect shape. Other important factors: smell for freshness and feel for texture and fullness.
Loose needles and sparse branches are definitely out, but
a tree that's too dense leaves little room for hanging larger decorations and mementos.
Choosing the right one takes a little
time, but it's well worth the effort to say that you've found the most perfect Christmas tree EVER.
Caring for your Christmas tree
If you don't already have one, buy a sturdy Christmas tree stand usually on sale at local cut-your-own farms. Find the largest, deepest one available. This will ensure your Christmas tree has an adequate supply of water. Check it daily and add more water as necessary.
If possible, the ideal place for a live Christmas tree is near a source of fresh air, like a front door or living room window. Above all, keep your tree away from any heat source like an air
vent, floor heater. or fireplace to ensure that it will stay fresh and green throughout the holiday season.
Where to find more Christmas tree farm information around the Web:
Around the Web, check out where you can find that best tree ever - in our guide to choose-and-cut Christmas tree farms in the U.S., Canada and around the world, along with mail order houses
and how-to's on picking out your perfect Christmas tree this year online...
National Christmas Tree Association - Search for Christmas tree farms in the United States and Canada, the U.K., Germany,
Denmark and Mexico, and check out a list of retailers who sell Christmas trees by mail order and via the Internet.
Pick Your Own Christmas Tree - Browse for Christmas tree farms throughout the U.S. by state, with contact details and links to official Web sites where available, with additional guides to the UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, New Zealand
and South Africa.
The Virtual Christmas Tree Farm - Fun kid-stuff from Christmas Tree Farmers of Ontario with a step-by-step guide to planting, tree care, harvesting, how to's for cutting your own, plus a bit of history and an identification list.
Selection and Care of Christmas Trees - This is a good, general guide to what to look for and how to pick your choose-and-cut or retail lot Christmas tree, from the Virginia Cooperative Extension.
Choosing a Perfect Christmas Tree - The University of Illinois Extension offers expert tips on finding the freshest tree possible, with advice on keeping it fresh through the Christmas season.