MANATEE -- It’s time to deck the halls and decorate your home for the holidays. If you’re in the market for a real Christmas tree, there are a couple tips on how to keep it fresh through the season.
Before you leave your house, make sure you know what size tree to get. Measure the height of the ceiling where you plan to put the tree. Make sure you subtract about a foot to allow for the stand and a tree topper ornament.
There are plenty of different types, shapes and sizes – from Frazier firs to Scotch pines. Prices will vary depending on tree height and variety.
“From anywhere from $20 to $95 for a 10-foot beautiful luxury tree,” said Johnnie Sansone, from the Tampa Bay Farmer’s Market.
The National Christmas Tree Association says the average price paid for a tree is about $40.
Most often, shoppers are looking for the perfect shape. But smell factors in as well.
It’s always a good idea to do a freshness test on the tree you choose. Grab a branch and gently pull it towards you. The fewer needles that fall off, the fresher it is.
“No matter what, always get fresh cut before you leave the lot, no matter what,” Sansone said. “Trees sap themselves shut and you have to recut them so they can drink again.”
Once you get the tree home, make sure to get it back into water within a few hours.
If you're looking for a tree with the strongest evergreen aroma, Sansone says try a spruce tree, but look out for the sharp needles. And if you need a tree with stiffer branches to hold heavier ornaments, you’ll want to check out a Nobel fir, spruce, or Douglas fir.