How to Pick the Best Christmas Tree for your Home

Finding your perfect Christmas tree means many things to consider, especially if this is your first year with a live tree!

Factors such as height, width, needle texture, and brand sturdiness can make the seemingly simple task of choosing a tree to come home with you a little more daunting.

Luckily, we’ve had our experts outline exactly what you need to know – we want to make this one less thing for you to worry about over the holidays!

Getting the Tree That’s Best for You

Before you head out to get your tree, take some time to decide what qualities will be the best fit for you and your home.

Do you want a tall tree that reaches all the way to your ceiling?

Or maybe you want one that’s wide to fit all your ornaments?

How about one with softer needles that will be gentler for pets and little ones?

Once you have your vision in mind, you’ll be better prepared to choose a tree that fits your lifestyle. There’s not just one type of Christmas tree out there either! It turns out that you have A LOT of options when it comes to bringing festive greenery into your home.

Popular Christmas Trees

Fraser Fir

These trees retain the soft texture of their needles even after a

cut, so you won’t poke your fingers when hanging ornaments!

The scent, shape, strong limbs, soft needles, and ability to retain those needles long after being cut are some of the reasons they are Christmas favorites.

Expert advice: When you first bring it home, saw off half an inch to one inch from the trunk to open up the pores, but make sure not to cut at an angle. Keep the tree away from heat sources to prevent it from drying out, and water it daily.

Noble Fir

This tree’s bark is silvery-gray, and the needles are gray-green or bright blue-gray. Due to the stiffness of the branches, they grow almost horizontally!

The strongly defined branches of the Noble Fir and their rich green hue give them a lovely full and layered appearance. Noble Fir Christmas trees have soft blue-green needles on evenly spaced strong branches, and emit a distinctive yet mild evergreen scent that really lights up a room!

Balsam Fir

As a Christmas tree, the balsam fir is very desirable. It has a dark-green appearance, long-lasting needles, and an attractive form. It also retains its pleasing fragrance for weeks!

The Balsam fir can accommodate heavy ornaments, so if you have a lot, this one might be for you.

Blue Spruce

The needles of the Blue Spruce are rigid and prickly to touch, and curve upwards, so keep this in mind.

When you first get the tree, it will be best to trim the base of the tree by about an inch to allow for it to soak up water.

Expert advice: Keep it away from direct heat and check every few days to ensure it is kept well-watered!

Douglas Fir

The needles on this tree are soft to the touch and grow out in all directions from the branch. They have a symmetrical growth pattern, which makes for a full Christmas tree!

Their needles are also known for having great retention, which is one of the reasons it’s such a popular tree. The branches are moderately stiff and may not be suitable for the heaviest ornaments.


There are two types of pine. The white pine, which has needles bundled into groups of 5, and the scotch pine, with bundles of 2.

The dense, full shape comes from them being tightly sheared. Both are popular, traditional Christmas trees with good reputations for needle retention.

Expert advice: Scotch pine is quite strong and will hold heavy ornaments with ease, whereas white pine is more flexible and may not support the heaviest ornaments.

What to Look for in a Healthy Tree

No matter which species you choose, you’ll want to make sure you’re taking home a healthy tree to last you through the holidays. When you inspect it, look for the following:

  • You should be able to smell the tree. If there is no fragrance, it’s best to stay away.
  • Color is key. Fresh trees retain their moisture, which keeps their fragrance and color in the needles.
  • Examine the branches. Are they strong enough to hold up ornaments and decorations?
  • Run your hand down the branches. If a large number of needles fall off in your hand, you should keep looking for another one. If only a few falls off, you should be good to go.

Setting Up Your Tree

Now that you’ve picked the right tree, here are a few things you’ll want to do to get it prepped and primed.

  • Trim the trunk. A dried trunk will not drink any water. Cut about an inch off the bottom before you set it up.
  • Choose a good spot in your home, avoiding any heat sources like vents or stoves.
  • When placing into the stand, be sure to grab some help from a family or friend.
  • Look at the tree from multiple angles to ensure it’s standing straight and not leaning to the side, and that the fullest parts are showing.
  • Fill up the stand with water as soon as possible, and check often to refill.

For more advice on how to set up and care for Christmas trees and more, check out our free app with expert plant care advice here!

After the Holidays

Are you the type of person that’s done with all that holiday cheer by the 26th? If you’re ready to have your normal living room back but hesitant to toss the tree out, we have some crafty ideas for you!

Give Shelter to the Birds

You can add your tree to your yard and fill it with bird feeders and peanut butter-coated pinecones to help attract the birds – they’ll appreciate the extra winter food and shelter!

Create coasters with the wood

Not only are these free, but they look adorable too. Just cut slabs off the truck to your desired thickness, sand them smooth, and apply a thin layer of polyurethane for protection.

Recycle Your Tree

There are a bunch of recycling programs that take care of old trees. They’ll often be ground into mulch and given back to the community. Check for more information!

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