As a young man, JP spent his summers working at a fruit & flower stand and his winters working at a Christmas tree lot. Every year when we choose our tree, he knows exactly what he's looking for, and he's always right. Each year we say "this is the best tree yet."
We like a fluffy, full, fragrant tree that almost completely fills the space we allow for it. But each family and each house is different. So I interviewed JP to get to the bottom of how to choose the perfect tree every time.
Choosing the right size
In JP's opinion, there's no tree that's too big, as long as it fits in the space you've chosen for it. Just make sure there's comfortable space to walk around the tree, make sure you account for the size of your stand when you're choosing the height of your tree, and make sure there's about an inch of room between your topper and your ceiling when you put up the tree. And most importantly: measure before you leave the house.
Choosing the right species
- If you'd like a fuller tree , choose a trimmed Frasier Fir
- If you'd like a tree with a more blue cast, choose a Spruce, a Frasier Fir, an Alpine Fir, or a Noble Fir
- If you'd like a more sparse tree, choose a Noble Fir
- If you'd like a Charlie Brown tree choose a Douglas Fir
- The most fragrant tree is a Balsam Fir, but all of the very full trees will be fragrant. JP says " more needles means more fragrance." If you find a tree that's not as fragrant as you'd like, we like the Vitruvi Scent Diffuser with the Woodsy Essential Oil Bundle or Juniper Ridge Christmas Fir Room Spray to add some extra scent to the air.
Other expert tips
- Always shake the tree to see how fresh it is. If a ton of needles fall off when you shake the tree, keep looking.
- Look at the base of the tree to make sure you can accommodate the size of the base with your stand (measure before you leave the house).
- Look for a tree that has a straight trunk. That will make it easier to put up.
- Have the lot cut about an inch off the base of the tree so you have a nice, fresh cut.
- If you're not going to put your tree up right away, soak the base in water when you get it home to keep it nice and fresh.
- It's a good idea to attach a wire at the top of the tree and anchor it to the wall. That way kids and pets won't knock over the tree in the holiday excitement.
- Bring cash. Some tree lots don't accept credit cards.
And lastly, JP's most important tip: if you have children, defer to them when making the final pick. Narrow down to two or three that will fit, are fresh, and are the right shape, then let the kids choose their favorite.