Tis’ the season to be jolly, and acquiring a Christmas Tree is probably at the top of many Michigander’s “To Do” list within the next week or so. Store-bought artificial trees are growing in popularity, but the “fresh-cut” Christmas tree is still a traditional favorite. 

There are two main approaches that can be taken in acquiring a freshly cut Christmas tree. The first option is to go to an empty lot, in your city, that has been temporarily taken over by a Christmas tree vendor, or a local organization that’s trying to gather funds. The Boy Scouts were always a local favorite in many communities. In fact, for the past week, I’ve been passing by the local Boy Scout Christmas tree sale located in the heart of Galesburg.

When buying a tree from the Boy Scouts, not only are you helping fund their activities but there are always a couple of eager scouts who will drag the tree to your car and help secure it. You will only have to deal with the sap and needle pricks when you get home.

The second approach in purchasing a tree is to go to a local Christmas tree farm. At the farm, you can either select a pre-cut tree or perhaps cut your own. Nothing beats the pioneer spirit of trudging through a snowy field, looking for that perfect tree to grace your living room. 

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In choosing the tree, you may want to consider your options in trees. 

  • Balsam Fir: It has deep green soft needles and is known for its strong fragrance and shape. They are considered the classic Christmas tree.  
  • Fraser Fir: It’s often the most popular choice. Frasers are known for their excellent needle retention, strong branches, and fragrance. 
  • Blue Fir: It has a “double needle” look and a bluish-green color. They have good needle retention and a strong fragrance. 

Hopefully, after purchasing a tree, the seller will make a clean cut to the base of the tree, trimming away stray branches. Once you get home, there are a few things that you should consider in keeping your tree as fresh as possible during the next few weeks 

Fresh Cut Christmas Tree Tips 

  • Make sure you have a tree stand that holds a gallon of water or more. Also, purchase a tree removal bag.  
  • Keep the tree in a sheltered, unheated area such as a porch or garage to protect it from the wind and sun until you’re ready to bring it inside. The tree should be placed in a bucket of water, to keep the sap from drying at the stump. 
  • Before bringing it inside, you may want to check the tree for any pests which may have taken up residence within the limbs. Also, check to see if sap has created a seal at the cut at the base of the tree. This will prevent the absorption of water! 
  • Prepare a space to display your Christmas tree. Now is the time to spread the tree removal bag on the floor to protect the floor and carpet from possible moisture. Remember, you may be adding water to the tree stand during the next few days. Now bring the tree indoors, place it in the stand and tighten the stand bolts to secure the tree. Once secure, you will probably want to rotate the tree for that perfect viewing angle. When the family agrees on the proper side for viewing, you can now add the water to the tree stand.  
  • Now that you have the Christmas tree in the best position for viewing and watering, you can now add a Christmas blanket around the base of the tree. This will help catch the needles that will fall. Tree blankets can be purchased at a store, but as a kid, my family usually used an old bed sheet. The Christmas tree is now ready for decorating!! 

Choose and Cut Christmas Trees in Southwest Michigan

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