Before, During, and After Christmas Tree Tips

Christmas only comes once a year so it’s important to select the perfect tree to decorate, but picking a tree suitable to display in your home can be a daunting task. Good thing Michigan trees come in a  variety of species, sizes, and tree farms for you to choose from this holiday season. 

Before you leave the house

Make sure you measure the space you plan to display your tree before heading to the choose and cut farm or retail lot. Measure the height of your ceiling; don’t forget about the tree stand and tree topper.  While you’re at it, measure the width of your tree stand. Trees come in all shapes and sizes so make sure you know what you can fit before visiting the tree farm.

Also consider the types of decorations you’ll be placing on the tree. Some species have thicker branches and are ideal for decorating, others have thing branches that will break from the weight of an ornament. Read our species blog to find out what species fits your needs and ornaments.

Choosing a farm

Now that you know what size you need, it’s time to pick the farm. We discuss the differences between choose and cut farms and retail lots, here. You can find where to cut fresh Christmas tree or purchase a fresh cut Christmas tree on our  our website.  If you’re looking for a specific species or size, call the farm fist to make sure they have trees that fit your requirements.

Selecting the tree

Once you arrive at the farm, go for a live tree and follow these selection tips:

  • Test the branches: Select any branch and gently pull towards yourself. If you end up with a handful of needles, it’s not the right tree.
  • Crush the needles: if the tree doesn’t smell enough, move on to the next one
  • Bounce the tree: If the exterior needles fall off, there’s a better tree out there.
  • Double check that the trunk will fit your stand

Before You leave the Farm

Now that you’ve found the freshest tree in the lot, it’s time to prepare it for transportation. Ask a lot attendant to put your tree through a shaker to rid the tree of any dead, interior needles. Don’t forget about the fresh cut. This will open up the veins that will deliver water to the branches to keep your tree healthy.  You can do this step at the lot, but you should hold off if you’re going to be out and and about for a few more hours.


At Home

Once the tree is upright, add a lot of water as soon as possible. The first couple of days the tree is going to absorb up at least 3 gallons of water. There’s no need for any additives as long as the water is fresh and clean. It will take the tree a few hours to settle, so hold off on wrapping it in lights and hanging ornaments.

Check your light strands for shorts and trouble spots and don’t place your tree next to a fireplace or lighted candle. For more fire safety tips, check out our blog.

After the Holidays

Finally, remember to recycle your Christmas tree after December 25. Christmas trees can be used for a long list of things including mulch and paths.  Find tree recycling tips, here.  Ask your city if they have a Christmas tree recycling program, many do.

Most Michigan Christmas tree farms open the weekend after Thanksgiving. Visit our website for a full list of choose and cut farms and retail lots to visit this season. 

Sources: This Old House, National Christmas Tree Association