This is a collaborative post.
Navigating the selection of a real, live Christmas tree can be overwhelming, akin to a potential nightmare. The myriad options leave you wondering where to begin.
With numerous types available, it’s essential to identify key factors ensuring you choose the cream of the crop. To simplify this annual Christmas task, let’s explore some helpful guidelines. For Londoners, Christmas trees can be bought in a number of different places.
There are specialist Christmas tree vendors, garden centres and, of course, the usual shopping chain stores will have plenty.
Things to Look for When Buying a Real Xmas Tree
You should look for a tree that has been recently cut and still looks fresh; a good indicator is the condition of the needles. If they’re still shiny and green, then the tree is fresh.
Walk away from any that are looking dry and dull. If you can, give the tree a little shake and see if any of the needles fall off. Needles on the ground? Move on. When you pick the tree up, it should feel heavy- as if it’s fresh, it will still have a high water content.
Different Trees to Choose From
The initial choice lies in deciding between a drop or non-drop tree. Do you fancy dealing with needles scattered on the floor or prefer them neatly adorning the tree? It appears to be a straightforward decision with an obvious answer – keeping the needles on the tree, of course.
Deciding for the non-drop option may require a deeper investment, but it’s noteworthy that a well-maintained, high-quality tree is equally likely to retain its needles. The decision ultimately rests on whether you’re willing to take the risk or prefer the assurance of minimal needle shedding.
Non-drop trees are evergreen trees that don’t shed their needles or leaves. Their evergreen nature renders them perfect for landscaping, offering a uniform appearance throughout the year.
Non-drop trees demand less maintenance compared to their deciduous counterparts, sparing the need for pruning and cleanup during the fall and winter seasons. Moreover, these trees boast heightened resistance to diseases and pests, making them a good choice for both residential and commercial landscaping endeavours.
- Nordman Fir – has a wide conical shape and needles that are soft, wide, flat and dark green. It is one of the original non-drop Christmas trees that retains its needles particularly well.
- Fraser Fir – plenty similar to the Nordman Fir in the amount of needles it retains, and has the same kind of needles. It will have more branches at the top, and the base is not quite so wide. If space is limited for your tree, this is an excellent choice.
- Douglas Fir – is a lighter green colour, with soft, thin and relatively long needles. The needles have a kind of citrus smell, which makes it quite a unique choice. It retains its needles pretty well.
- Scots Pine – this is the champion at retaining its needles. It beats the competition, hands down. It has really long needles and a fantastic pine smell.
- Blue Spruce – this tree has a distinctive silver-blue colour and a smell that is very reminiscent of Christmas. It is more of a low-drop rather than a non-drop tree.
To ensure optimal care for a traditional Christmas tree, place it in a cool, shaded area, avoiding direct sunlight and sources of warmth. Maintain its hydration by consistently filling the stand with water. To prevent drying out, perform a fresh cut on the tree at least once a week. Regularly inspect the tree for pests or signs of disease, promptly addressing any issues to safeguard its health and longevity.
- Norway Spruce – the most favourite tree in the whole of the UK, not just in London. It encapsulates the smell, shape and traditions of Christmases gone by. Follow the care instructions, and provided you haven’t bought your tree in November, it should keep its needles at least until Boxing Day.
- Omorica Spruce – possibly a little darker than the Norway Spruce and with a narrower base. That’s another one that’s ideal to squash in a tight corner.
- Potted trees – if you fancy nurturing your Xmas tree and helping it serve you for many Christmases, then a potted tree is the way to go. Some can be as high as 5 feet, with their roots still intact, and planted in a pot with some soil. They don’t promise to be everlasting, but it’s definitely worth a try.
Caring for Your Christmas Tree
Whatever kind of Christmas tree you’ve decided on, a Spruce Christmas tree, a Nordmann Fir Christmas tree or any other variety, care is required to keep them looking good up until Christmas, and hopefully a few days the other side.
- Put your Christmas tree up as soon as possible, and if you’re planning on storing it for a few days, find somewhere cool and out of the wind.
- Three hours before you put it up, chop 3cm off the bottom. That will allow the tree to take in more water.
- As soon as possible, stand the tree in plain, clean water in a bucket or stand. Do not put your tree in sand or soil.
- Try and place your tree in its stand away from direct heat.
- You should top the water up every day, as a tree can take in up to 3 pints of water. Don’t let the water level drop below the base of the trunk, as the tree will seal over its pores with sap and prevent further uptake of water.
- Potted trees should be cared for like any potted house plant. And remember to put a saucer or tray underneath the pot because you don’t want your flooring ruined.
Interesting Christmas Tree Facts
A captivating Christmas tree tidbit reveals that the tradition of adorning evergreen trees indoors during the winter holiday season spans thousands of years. Historical records showcase the Ancient Egyptians, Celts, and Romans bringing evergreen boughs into their homes, a practice typically observed around the winter solstice. Other interesting facts about them:
- Using evergreen trees to celebrate the winter began before Christ was born.
- Riga, Latvia, in 1510 – had the first decorated Christmas tree.
- An acre of Christmas trees can provide enough oxygen for 18 people.
- 98% of all real Christmas trees are grown on farms
- They take 7 – 10 years to mature and be ready for cutting.
- Cherry and hawthorn trees have been used in the past.
- One harvested tree requires 2-3 seedlings to be planted.
- The Christmas tree was banned from the White House by Teddy Roosevelt for environmental reasons.
- Thinking of buying your tree online? You’ll be joining a staggering 330,000 other people.
In conclusion, selecting the perfect Christmas trees is a cherished tradition for many Londoners. Choices abound, from the classic charm of traditional trees to the practicality of non-drop varieties.
Londoners explore specialist vendors, garden centres, and popular chain stores. Freshness is key – vibrant, green needles and a hefty feel indicate vitality. Non-drop options like Nordman Fir, Fraser Fir, Douglas Fir, Scots Pine, and Blue Spruce offer unique features. Traditional favourites, Norway Spruce and Omorica Spruce embody Christmas nostalgia.
Proper care is crucial, from pre-installation trims to regular watering. As Londoners embark on the annual quest, may the chosen Christmas tree bring joy and festive splendour to homes across the city.