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Master Gardener: Plan ahead to buy the perfect fresh Christmas tree

Brian Jervis Master Gardener

Hattifant’s D Paper Christmas Trees – Hattifant

Now that we are past Thanksgiving, it’s time for many of us to start shopping for our Christmas tree. Here’s some things to think about before making your purchase.

This first one seems kind of obvious, but you need to know how big of a tree you can handle in your home. So, get out the tape measure and measure how tall and wide your space is. It’s easy to find the “perfect” tree, only to get it home and realize it’s too big, so you end up having to saw off part of the tree you paid for. To avoid that, just take a minute to measure and write down your optimal tree size before going shopping.

Mini D Christmas trees made of paper  Mashustic
Mini D Christmas trees made of paper Mashustic

Next up, you’ll need to decide where you are going to shop for your tree. In Tulsa, we have a variety of options from nurseries to the pop-up seasonal tree stands sponsored by various civic groups or churches.

If you would like to embrace a shopping experience that reminds you of days gone by, you can visit one of our area tree farms. Just get on Google to find one near you. You’ll be able to pick out a live tree to bring home straight from the farm.

Printable D Christmas Tree Template for DIY Holiday Fun ( Free)
Printable D Christmas Tree Template for DIY Holiday Fun ( Free)

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Next, you will need to decide which variety of tree you would prefer. In Oklahoma, the native tree farms should let you choose from Leyland cypress, Virginia pine, Arizona cypress or white pine.

D Christmas Tree Template - Little Bins for Little Hands
D Christmas Tree Template – Little Bins for Little Hands

Tree lots also will probably stock Norman fir, Frasier fir and Noble fir, among others. Any of the mentioned varieties will have that scent most of us enjoy. Unless, of course, someone in your family is allergic, which means an artificial tree is in your future.

When you are shopping from pre-cut trees at the tree lot or nursery, buy the freshest tree you can find. You can determine freshness by bending some of the needles. The fresher the needles, the easier they bend. If they snap off, keep looking.

Once you get your tree home, it’s a good idea to cut off about an inch at the bottom of the tree, then place the tree in a container of water until you are ready to bring it inside to decorate.

A sturdy tree stand is a must. If you don’t have one, most places that sell Christmas trees will have stands available. You’ll want one that can hold water because this will help keep your tree from drying out and becoming a fire hazard.

Also, to minimize chances of drying out, don’t place your tree near a heater vent or the fireplace. Dry trees are at much greater risk of fire than one that isn’t dry, so keep that tree watered.

And as tempting as it is, don’t leave the lights on when you are not at home. It’s just too easy for something to happen if you’re not home.

So, follow these tips and have a great holiday season. Good luck.

You can get answers to all your gardening questions by calling the Tulsa Master Gardeners Help Line at 918-746-3701, dropping by our Diagnostic Center at 4116 E. 15th St. or emailing us at [email protected].

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