Use these practical tips to be a more informed consumer and to ensure a great experience with your Real Tree:
- Be sure you know what size (height and width) you need before heading to the retail lot.
- If you want the same species you know or have always used, great. If you want to try a different species, browse the NCTA website www.realchristmastrees.org to become familiar with the species popular in your area before heading to the retail lot.
- Go to a retail lot that is well-lit and stores trees in a shaded area.
- Often, a tree obtained soon after its arrival on the retail lot will be very fresh because it was cut recently. Consumers should ask the retailer when he/she gets the trees: are they delivered once at the beginning of the season, or does he/she obtain several shipments during the season.
- Do a freshness test on the trees. Green needles on fresh trees break crisply when bent sharply with the fingers — much like a fresh carrot.
- Pines have different indicators because of the fibrous nature of their needles compared to firs. The needles on fresh pines do NOT break, unless they are very dry.
- Look for other indicators of dryness or deterioration: excessive needle loss, discolored foliage, musty odor, needle pliability, and wrinkled bark. A good rule-of-thumb is, when in doubt about the freshness of a tree, select another one. If none of the trees on the lot look fresh, go to another lot.
- Some species last longer and remain fresh longer than others in different climates. Ask your retailer which tree performs best in your climate.
- Ask the retailer about recycling Christmas Trees in your community.
- Involve the whole family in the selecting and plan fun things for everyone to do during the trip.
Source: National Christmas Tree Association and your local Christmas Tree professional. For more information contact: Rick Dungey, 636/449-5071, firstname.lastname@example.org