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Christmas tree guide

Christmas tree guide

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Few things say Christmas more than an evergreen tree twinkling away in the corner of the lounge. We all want the ideal tree for the room, perfectly decorated to our own personal tastes, to encapsulate the festive spirit. Here is The Working Parent’s Christmas tree guide.

Real or fake

If you’d rather use the same tree over and over again and avoid the hassle of shopping for a new tree every year, then an artificial tree might be right for you. However, if you love the smell of the spruce, don’t mind vacuuming up the needles and enjoy the festive feeling of Christmas tree shopping then you’d probably want to opt for a real tree. Both have their advantages, it’s really just a matter of personal preference.

Pick your spot

The first thing you need to do when choosing a tree is to decide where it is going to sit. Choose the room in which the family spends the most time but make sure it is tucked out of the way so it isn’t knocked or bumped into. While a brightly lit tree in the window looks great, be wary of putting gifts under it if burglars could easily smash the window and grab the presents.


Once you’ve picked the spot, you need to measure exactly how much space it can take up. Christmas trees always look way smaller when you choose them than they do when you get them home so take a note of the measurements (both height and width) and consider them when making your purchase. You don’t want to have to prune branches when you get it home!

Which type of real tree is best?

This really depends on what you want from it. If you’re looking for something very traditional then the Norway spruce is generally the go-to species in the UK. However, they do tend to drop their needles towards the end of the season and so you may prefer to choose a non-drop variety, such as Nordmann fir.

Christmas tree guide

When to buy

According to The British Christmas Tree Growers Association, a fresh tree cared for properly should last for up to six weeks. So it’s really up to you when to buy, though obviously the later you leave it the fresher your tree will be on the big day.

What should I look out for?

Probably the most important thing you’re looking for is freshness. Check with retailers that they get new deliveries throughout the month and try to time your visit to coincide with those. Look for bright needles (good) and avoid any with brown needles (bad). Drop the tree onto its stump or give it a shake to see how many needles fall off. If it’s more than two or three then choose another. It’s worth noting that cut trees and trees grown in a container, usually last longer than those that have been dug up and stuffed into a pot.

Keeping it in good condition

Your Christmas tree needs two things to remain fresh – water and temperature. Before you take the tree inside, chop a little bit off the bottom to open up the pores and let the water in. Keep the tree well watered and don’t put it next to a radiator or anywhere else that it may get too hot.

When the festivities are over put your real tree out for collection. Most local authorities run a recycling service where they’ll do the rounds picking up used Christmas trees.




About Maria Brett

About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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