Checkout Lane: Picking out the perfect Christmas tree
’Tis the season to buy a Christmas tree, and tree farm owners say this year’s harvest is particularly eye-catching. “They’re gorgeous,” said John Kopacz, owner of the Webster Cranberries farm in Norwell, Mass., which sells Christmas trees ranging from 2 to 20 feet in height. “There’s been plenty of water and enough good growing conditions with the sun, so they’re taller than last year and they’ve filled out nicely.”
Kopacz offers a selection of Fraser firs and Canaan firs.
He says tree farms are the best option for customers shopping for a tree.
“A fresh tree is going to last you considerably longer than one that’s been cut for a couple of weeks and then shipped somewhere else,” he said.
His trees cost about $9.50 per foot on average, he said.
Space is a key issue when deciding on the perfect Christmas tree for your home, said Lydia Mathias, owner of Bog Hollow Farm in Kingston, Mass.
“When you’re looking at the tree in your house, it seems like it’s grown because your perspective is different in the house, so you really have to think about that before you go to the field,” she said.
Bog Hollow Farm offers Fraser firs, Balsam firs and Colorado blue spruces that Mathias grows on the farm and also imports from Maine. The farm is only open for tree shopping this weekend, and the trees sell for about $10 per foot for a minimum of $50.
The Balsam fir is the best-seller, she said, because it’s the quintessential Christmas tree and has a pleasant smell.
She recommends Colorado blue spruces for customers who have heavy ornaments because its needles are firmer.
Trees can last about a month with proper care, Mathias said. Cutting the trunk before putting it in water is imperative no matter what kind of tree you get, she said. “You just have to keep checking to make sure that the container hasn’t gone dry,” she said. “Placement is important, too – don’t put them near a heater or fireplace.”
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CHRISTMAS TREE CARE
Placing trees in water in a traditional reservoir-type stand is the most effective way to maintain their freshness and minimize needle loss. . Make a fresh cut to remove about a -inch-thick disk of wood from the base of the trunk before putting the tree in the stand. Avoid whittling the sides of the trunk down to fit a stand. The outer layers of wood are the most efficient in taking up water and should not be removed. The use of lights that produce low heat, such as miniature lights, will reduce drying of the tree. Always turn off the tree lights when leaving the house or when going to bed. The temperature of the water used to fill the stand is not important and does not affect water uptake.
Source: The National Christmas Tree Association