The Inspector

By NPI, Inc.



Correctly Choosing a Live Christmas Tree

 December 5, 2022 |  Home Decor, DIY, Holiday, Just for Fun |  winter, entertaining

Despite artificial trees being a common option for most people, live trees are still very popular. Around 30 million live trees are sold each year at tree farms. They’re a nice touch for those that want a more authentic holiday feel. If you’ve been thinking about picking out a live tree for your celebration, here’s what you need to know to find the right one.

Pick Out a Spot at Home
Before you head to the lot to chop down your tree, be certain you can actually get it in your home first. While movies like Christmas Vacation and Elf make fun of picking out a comically large Tannenbaum, in reality they can be a headache. You may end up having to drastically trim it down and be left with a pile of twigs as opposed to a pristine pine. Pick out where you want to place your new tree, and measure the area on the floor and the distance between the floor and ceiling. You’ll also want to be sure you have an adequate stand for the tree to keep it from tipping over. (To prevent your tree from going up in a blaze of glory, keep it away from heating vents and of course fireplaces and heaters.)

Research the Tree You Want
Another good step to complete before you purchase a tree is to research the different kinds. Different species will grow in different locations, so not every one will be available to you. Cypresses, pines, firs, and spruces are typically the most common types. Each has its own lifespan, care needs, and even smell or coloring. Ask the attendant helping you to provide more information on the species they have.

Check the Freshness
Most trees can last up to a month when taken care of properly. However, your tree needs to be as fresh as possible when you buy it so you won’t have to take it to the curb early. When checking it over, lightly bend the needles. A fir that’s fresh will have needles that snap whereas pines shouldn’t. Look at the ground around the tree and see if there’s a lot of needles. A shake test will also let you know freshness, as only a small amount of needles should fall off. Color is another good indicator of the tree’s age, and in this instance, it’s best to go for one as green as possible.

Check for Animals
To avoid the “wily squirrel in the tree fiasco,” double-check you won’t be taking any critters back home with you. Squirrels, birds, and some other small animals tend to make themselves at home in trees. Look for signs of a nest further back in the branches. If you do spot one, see if you can find any fresh signs of life. A tree that’s occupied is better left alone and reported to the lot staff.

Cut it to Last
Making the right cut is crucial to your tree lasting more than a few days. For starters, use a saw designed for the tree so you don’t damage the trunk. Cut up an inch or so from the ground. This will allow the tree to properly re-sprout on the end and be able to take water. Don’t let the tree timber over, as it can cause the bark to splinter and tear off. After you’ve cut it, take it home as soon as possible to keep the sap from scabbing over the end and hindering re-sprouting.

Give Your Tree Back
When you’re done with your tree for the holidays, you can re-gift it. Some recycling programs use the trees for mulch or other biodegradable purposes. Animal sanctuaries or zoos can also use the trees as food. You can still keep the giving spirit going!

For help with all your home inspection needs, contact National Property Inspections today.

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